If you were to ask people in Wichita, which restaurant they want to see in Wichita, one of the most popular responses is The Cheesecake Factory.
The American restaurant chain with over 200 locations across the country and what also feels like a 200-page menu is one of the most polarizing eateries in Wichita, even though there isn’t one here. The closest location is in Kansas City and Oklahoma City.
Whether you love it or not, the sheer mention of their name can cause a giant debate.
For the longest time, the rumor has been they won’t come to Wichita because our city doesn’t meet certain criteria that mostly revolved around income in a given area. Well, I think it may be safe to throw those rumors out the door.
My prediction is, Wichita will have some sort of announcement of The Cheesecake Factory’s arrival within the next five years.
Over the past few years, the national chain has been testing locations with a smaller footprint. A typical location is over 7,000 square feet while these smaller ones are over 5,000. They wan tto see if staff can execute the menu in a smaller kitchen footprint and maintain the guest experience in less space. During that same time, I’ve heard from multiple sources that The Cheesecake Factory has been in talks with multiple shopping centers and developers about opening one of those smaller scale restaurants here in Wichita.
Similar situations have taken place with a smaller Dave & Busters and a smaller Topgolf in Wichita.
After I heard from the first source a few years ago, I was hesitant to post something. But since then, more trusted people have come forward with information that isn’t connected, leading me to believe that The Cheesecake Factory is serious about coming to Wichita; even as recent as this summer. It all comes down to numbers and who’s willing to play ball with the major restaurant chain and whatever their asking price is in terms of negotiations.
Sooner than later, somebody is going to give in and I really think Wichita will get its Cheesecake Factory. Then the people of Wichita will have something new to argue about besides Century II.
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