The Reason Cheesecake Factory's Menu Is So Long

If you've ever stepped foot into a Cheesecake Factory, you know that the menu that gets set down on the table is, in short, lengthy. It can take forever to flip through the pages that have a never-ending list of offerings ranging from salad to burgers to bowls of pasta. As it turns out, there's actually a reason for why the chain's menu is so long.

The length all comes down to consumer psychology. Authors Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin explain as much in their book, "Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers With Word of Mouth," telling Business Insider that the menu is a "built-in differentiator" or something that inspires customers to chat. 

Cheesecake Factory's CEO David Overton also attributes the length to being a major factor in keeping customers coming back for more since there's so much to choose from. Apparently the menu is changed twice a year, and has been for the past 40 years, so it doesn't seem like they're going to cut its length any time soon.

Keeping customers interested is priority number one

Cheesecake Factory's current menu clocks in at over 20 pages, depending on your exact location, but the original from 1978 had a measly 26 offerings. CEO David Overton decided to expand it because he wanted to keep customers coming in for more, and block out any and all competition. The menu is an amalgamation of different cuisines, and Overton did this on purpose so that customers could come in and order quite literally any kind of food they were craving from Asian-inspired dishes to Tex Mex and more. And of course, lots of cheesecake.

Although the menu does change, there are certain crowd favorites that are staples. The most popular menu item is fettuccine alfredo, which is apparently ordered over 200,000 times every month. Avocado egg rolls and fried mac and cheese are also popular, and are each ordered over 100,000 times a month as well. Despite the menu being so extensive, everything is cooked as it's ordered. This is truly a feat for a chain with over 200 items.

How many cheesecakes are at Cheesecake Factory?

While we know that Cheesecake Factory's menu is lengthy, did you ever wonder how much real estate cheesecake actually takes up? If you're as obsessed with the crumbly crust and creamy cheese combination as many other diners at the popular establishment, you'll be happy to hear that there are currently 38 flavors currently on the menu. 

The options start with the Classic Original — which features a graham cracker crust and sour cream topping — and elevates from there to offerings like Chocolate Caramelicious Cheesecake Made with Snickers. The chain continues to add innovative flavors to the menu, which now includes a cookie dough cheesecake that is filled with chocolate chip pecan cookie dough. 

The menu also sports a number of fruity options if that is more your speed. Their Pineapple Upside-Down Cheesecake combines the two deserts into one layered slice, and they also offer a classic Key Lime flavor. If cheesecake ultimately isn't your thing, the chain also sells a number of cakes, an apple crisp, and tiramisu.