Foodservice Equipment Reports

Cheesecake Factory Goes Global, Plans 22 Middle East Units

The Cheesecake Factory is making its first international foray, inking an exclusive licensing agreement with the Kuwait-based Alshaya group of companies to build and operate restaurants in the Middle East. The agreement covers the development of 22 restaurants over the next five years in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. It includes provisions to expand the agreement to other markets in the Middle East and North Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and Turkey.

The Cheesecake Factory operates 163 full-service, casual dining restaurants throughout the U.S., including 149 of its namesake restaurants, 13 Grand Lux Café units, and one RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen.

Alshaya was founded in Kuwait in 1890. It franchises more than 55 retail brands including P.F.Chang's, Pinkberry and Starbucks, and says future plans include Texas Roadhouse, Potbelly and Shake Shack. The company operates 2,000 stores in seven retail divisions in 15 markets across the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, Cyprus, Russia, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.