40 Secrets Only Target Staff Know

Target is a pretty popular place. There are no fewer than 1,844 outlets across the United States, after all, so chances are that most Americans have been in one at some point. But there’s some insider info that even the savviest shoppers may not know. Take these 40 secrets, for instance, that have been disclosed by the staff who work at Target. And so when you go to Target, be extra nice to the employees, as you never know when they may do you a deal…

40. Different items are marked down on different days

When it comes to hunting down the best deals, a blog called All Things Target seems to have the answer. Apparently, you see, each store follows the same strict schedule for marking down items. Ready for it? On Mondays, you’ll find bargains in child and baby clothing, books, stationery, electronics and accessories. Tuesdays, meanwhile, have price slashes on womenswear, food and pet items. Wednesdays, it transpires, are the days for diapers, gardening, furniture, beauty products and menswear. Next up, Thursdays see discounted footwear, sports apparel, décor, travel items, lingerie, housewares and toys. And finally, Fridays are the time to bag steals in jewelry, makeup, car products and hardware. Did you get all that?

39. It takes a while to rise up the ranks

Ever wondered how long it would take for a retail clerk at Target to work their way up to the very top? Well, according to one Reddit user, said task is no mean feat. “As far as climbing the ladder to run your own store, it would probably take a long time,” they said on the site in 2017. “We call [the person in charge] the STL – Store Team Leader – but there are positions below that which essentially make you the manager on duty at the time… It’s pretty much based on the store culture and team.”

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38. Shop for toys in January and July

Here’s some advice for parents – and perhaps child-free adults who just really like toys. Target’s best sales for kids’ playthings apparently take place in mid-January and late July. This time of year is said to be when the stores clear out all their old merchandise from the children’s sections, you see. So, while you may have to wait longer to get you or your little one that must-have gadget, you’ll hopefully get it cheaper!

37. You don’t need a credit card for the RedCard

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Target’s REDCard allows keen shoppers to get 5 percent off their items. But unfortunately, the associated risks are pretty high – unless you get a REDCard debit card, that is. Assuming you have an account with an FDIC-insured American bank, you can use your debit card to shop at any Target store. You’ll get a welcome gift and even free two-day shipping in some cases, too.

36. You can return online items for free

Online shopping is pretty handy, as all it takes is a click of a mouse to purchase a product anywhere and anytime. But there’s just one problem with e-browsing: what if you need to send an item back? Well, Target will let you return your buy for free. All you have to do is make a trip to their online return center and print out a label. Easy, right? But, sadly, this method doesn’t work if you don’t live in the U.S.

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35. You probably won’t spot the security guard

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Did you know that Target has people whose jobs are to prevent shoplifting? Yes, they’re known as the Assets Protection – or AP – team. There aren’t many of these special employees, but they’re certainly well disguised. According to one Reddit user and Target alumnus, a few of these security guards don subtle, all-black ensembles. The head of each AP department, meanwhile, actually blends in like any other employee.

34. Target has a reputation for good Black Friday deals

Black Friday is, of course, the day when everyone goes out to try and bag a bargain. And Target, it seems, should be bumped to the top of the list. “Every year, Target is one of our top five stores for Black Friday deals,” DealNews editor Benjamin Glaser told CheatSheet in 2017. “It should definitely be one of your first stops for apparel, electronics and appliance deals during the whole two-week period surrounding Thanksgiving.”

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33. Put those shoes back

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If you’re a regular Target shopper, you may well have noticed that the shop floor can get a little chaotic. So, if you feel like helping out those employees who are tasked with tidying up the mess, here’s the best way: put that footwear back on the rack after you’ve tried it on. Yes, according to one Reddit user and Target worker, sales assistants can “spend hours and hours just picking up shoes. It is one of the most dreaded positions in the store.”

32. Don’t aimlessly wander

Target employees keep a very close eye on customers. Unfortunately, though, that means that if you come into the store for nothing in particular and end up just casually browsing, you’ll probably get approached by staff a lot. And while that’s partially done to try and help you, it’s also because the workers want to check that you’re not in fact stealing. So, keep on moving!

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31. You can request a rain check

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Target doesn’t like to see customers go home empty-handed. So, keep in mind this top tip: if you have your heart set on a sale item that’s out of stock, you can ask for a “rain check.” Then, when said product comes back into the store, you can still purchase it at its discounted price – even if the sale is over. Nifty, right? It’s worth noting, though, that this process doesn’t apply to software, movies or music items.

30. Baby formula is a high-theft item

You’d think that TVs and video games – or other expensive things, for that matter – would be the go-to loot for Target thieves. But as it turns out, baby food is a particularly hot commodity among crooks. In October 2018, for instance, a woman stole thousands of dollars worth of formula from three Target stores in Coachella Valley – and that was within just the course of one day.

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29. Check the ends of the aisles

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While Target offers products at lower rates all over its stores, certain spots are perhaps more likely to yield bargains. So, if you’re after the very best deals, don’t just jump right into the middle of the shop; look carefully. The display shelves located at the ends of the aisles – known as endcaps – are where you may find some of the best discounts, according to HuffPost.

28. There’s a long process to get hired

As it turns out, bagging a spot on the Target team is no walk in the park. Take it from one Reddit user, who in 2016 explained on the site just how many hoops they had to jump through to land their job at the company. “I had four interviews in total,” they said. “The first interview was with a standard team member with longevity. Once she liked me, I moved onto a higher-up GSA, which is essentially a lead. Once he liked me, I moved up to a human resources leader and finally the HR director. So, I had to please and impress four people to get hired.”

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27. Asset Protection also guards against fraud

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Target’s Assets Protection team doesn’t just feature security guards who prevent against shoplifting; it has to handle fraud cases, too. According to one Target employee on Reddit, if a customer uses a stolen card, the cashier has to complete the transaction. After that, however, the AP department – who apparently receive intel direct from credit card companies – quickly call the police. And Target now also trains its employees to better spot gift card scams.

26. Employees can wear what they want as long as it’s red

The Target dress code is more relaxed than you may think. “We can wear any shirt that’s primarily red and khakis – as long as the shirt doesn’t have a brand of clothing logo on it,” a Reddit user and Target worker with the appropriate username of “redandkhakis” – wrote on the site in 2016. “So, I can wear my red polo one day and a black and red plaid flannel the next.”

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25. You can stack deals to get more money off

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If you’re someone who’s pretty nifty at couponing, you really need to get to Target. There are so many dollar-saving options available in store, in fact, that you can even pile different deals on top of one another – and bag items for much lower prices! For example, you could combine a regular sale deduction, a Target REDCard discount, a Target coupon and a manufacturer coupon if you so wish.

24. Free gifts are given sometimes

Deals are great and everything, but they’re nothing compared to free stuff. And Target’s been known to give away gift cards for buying certain items or even to hand out material goods. So, it always pays to check the Target website before you go shopping, as it reveals all the gift offers that you can expect to find. Be warned, though: the promotions change pretty fast.

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23. Employees have their own store

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Often, one of the upsides to working at a retail store is the possibility of employee-only discounts or freebies. And Target is certainly no different. One Reddit user dished the dirt on some of the perks of the job in 2016. “We have an entire store for employees online, and we can buy a bunch of stuff. We got free Fitbits a few months back,” they wrote. Nice.

22. Watch out for wet floors

“We are really careful about wet floors and clean everything up as fast as possible, but people are just in too much of a hurry or are on their phones and don’t see the signs and slip anyway,” one Redditor and Target employee revealed in a 2016 “Ask Me Anything” thread. But what should you do if you spill something yourself? “Please let a team member know, and we will be happy to clean it for you!” the commenter added.

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21. You can usually save at least $5

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Everyone knows that Target offers a lot of deals. And while some promotions are harder to track down than others, all you need is a bit of detective work. If you search sites such as PromotionCode, for instance, you may just find a few hidden bargains. “Target runs an online offer of $5 off $50 purchases almost year-round with relatively few limitations that is not available in store or publicized in their mailers,” PromotionCode founder, Mike Catania, revealed to CheatSheet in 2017.

20. Cashiers have a letter grade for speed

If you’ve ever overheard Target employees talking about Gs and Rs, and it’s left you slightly baffled, you’re not alone. But what do the letters mean? Well, according to Business Insider, the code is all to do with the company’s cashier system. Target workers are graded on their speediness, you see, and given different letters depending on how long they take to complete transactions. Apparently, G stands for green, which means fast, and R means red, which is slow.

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19. Black Friday isn’t too manic

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In the retail world, Black Friday has a reputation for being a bit of a crazy time – to put it mildly. But surprisingly, some folks who have worked at Target say that the event isn’t actually too wild. “Most people who get rough get kicked out of the store without purchasing anything, and we get extremely strict about the rules,” said Redditor TheSecondSam. Another user of the site commented, “I worked two Black Fridays for Target and was really surprised at how quickly it dies down.”

18. You don’t actually need a smartphone for Cartwheel

The Target app features a tool called Cartwheel, which allows you to save and use digital coupons on your cell. But what if you don’t own a smartphone? No problem! As it turns out, you can actually create an account using just your PC and then simply print out the barcode that you need to get money off.

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17. Hardware has the best deals

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If you’re hunting for a Target bargain and are not sure where to look, a sure-fire option is apparently one that many people may not think of. “Check out the clearance sections in our hardware area,” suggested a former Target employee on Reddit in 2015. “It’s not actually a very popular section, and so you can get a ton of stuff for 75 percent off: decent tools, nice flashlights, two-way radios… It’s quite the steal!”

16. Goodwill gets the unwanted Target items

What happens to Target items that don’t sell? Well, thankfully, unwanted clothing doesn’t always go to waste. “There are a variety of ways we address unsold product, including donations, liquidating to third parties, recycling and – when necessary – disposal,” a spokesperson for Target informed website Racked in 2014. “Goodwill is one of many partners that acquire Target merchandise as part of this process.” It seems, then, that thrift stores may hold some hidden Target bargains.

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15. You have a limited time to return electronics

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If you’re in the market for entertainment gadgets or electronics at Target, bear in mind that you only have 30 days to take back items if you decide you don’t want them. The store also only allows 15 days for returns on non-iPhone Apple products. But the rules are slightly different around the festive season. For electronics purchased between November 1 and Christmas Day, your 30-day allowance begins on December 26. Happy holidays!

14. Employees serve coffee as well

Have you ever been in a Target store and seen the same person working both the shop floor and the Starbucks? Well, apparently there’s a good reason for this. “If you’re cross-trained, you can pick up shifts for other employees or get more hours if you’re part time by working [in the] cafe [or] Starbucks and [on the] floor [or as a] cashier,” one Reddit user explained in 2016.

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13. Target has its own forensics lab

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Believe it or not, but Target has an official in-house forensics lab. Cool, right? It’s also pretty top-secret, although some savvy shoppers do know about the covert operation. The job of the lab workers is to examine evidence – such as fingerprints – record the information and then send it off to the authorities. So try not to commit any crimes in a Target, or you may just end up being a target yourself.

12. Target will price match for you

Did you know that if you come across a product being sold for cheaper elsewhere, Target will match the price for you? Yes, simply show a member of staff the advert for said item or a receipt, and it’ll be discounted for you. And if you don’t believe us, then take it from Target’s corporate website, which says, “If you find a current lower price within 14 days after purchase, just bring in the proof, and we will adjust your payment to the lower price upon request.”

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11. Cashiers are asked to sell you the RedCard

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If every Target cashier you’ve ever seen has tried to push the REDCard on you, it’s not just because they feel like it. Instead, their bosses actually tell them to try and get customers to sign up. “My store manager said the entire guest/team member interaction should be based around the REDCard,” one Redditor revealed in 2016. Another user commented, “This is just a hazard of retail… I actually got pretty good at convincing people to get one at American Eagle way back in the day.”

10. Markdowns vary between stores

Apparently, Target discounts aren’t universal. In 2014, for instance, Snopes reported that a shopper had found a deal to be inconsistent across different locations. “I have a pretty good idea of what is on clearance at each store and what percent it’s selling at,” the unnamed source claimed. “Once, there were things that I found at one store for 70 percent off that I really liked, so I went to the other store, and they were only 30 percent off.”

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9. Online apps can save you more money

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If you like Target’s own app, why not try some others to go with it? CheatSheet suggests that Shopkick is a good option when it comes to maximizing your deals. The app gives you rewards simply for going inside a Target and for scanning items – regardless of whether you end up purchasing them or not. And eventually, you can trade the points that you collect for gift cards. Sign us up!

8. Employees get rewarded

There are, it turns out, multiple perks to being a Target employee. According to one Reddit user, each worker receives a letter and a $25 store voucher after being with the company for five years. When it comes to seasonal staff, meanwhile, Target announced in 2018 that it was going to start offering them 20 percent discounts on various items. Plus, the company has apparently set aside $2 million so that it can hand out gift cards to randomly chosen employees.

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7. Customers have to show their IDs properly

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In 2015 an ex-Target worker on Reddit informed customers of a seemingly little-known rule. “At the registers, if we need to see an ID for anything, we are required to have the person take it out of their wallet,” they explained. “It’s Target policy that we have to hold it in our hand to ensure it’s not fake. And with any Target policy, we always have to require it – even under some kinda silly circumstances.” We imagine that said rule may have led to some interesting situations.

6. You ought to bring your own bags

Many stores reward you for bringing your own bag instead of using theirs, and Target is one of them. If you reuse and recycle, Target will take five cents off your purchase. And while this may not sound like much, it sure can add up. Plus, single-use bags may one day become illegal altogether across America; they already are in some places, after all.

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5. Employees have their own lingo

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Sometimes Target staff adopt their own ways of referring to different parts of the store, and customers may not understand what those words mean. In this so-called “Target Talk,” the main aisle is known as the “racetrack,” while “softlines” and “hardlines” denote the clothing and non-clothing areas, respectively. Plus, customers are always called “guests” – even the badly behaved ones.

4. You can exchange old electronics for gift cards

Don’t throw away your old electronics! Instead, take your gadgets to Target. The company has a system – organized by CExchange – in which you can swap your unwanted tech stuff for a Target gift card. Apparently, the amount that Target will give you varies somewhat, but you still essentially get something for nothing. Plus, you free up space in your house to boot.

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3. Cashiers won’t judge you

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Some shoppers worry that when they buy items in a store that are a little embarrassing, the staff may be giggling behind their back. Fear not, though, as Target cashiers aren’t really interested in what you’re spending money on. “I don’t care what you’re buying – not my business,” former Target worker and Reddit user redandkhakis explained in 2016.

2. Employees won’t chase shoplifters

If you see a person stealing from Target, employees won’t ever chase them; it’s store policy for them not to, in fact. Why? Well, apart from the obvious safety risks, small acts of theft aren’t worth the effort – unless they’re committed by a known repeat offender, that is. And even so, staff can and will detain you until the police show up.

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1. Not every deal is real

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There was once an urban legend that circulated online about Target bargains. Apparently, there are secret codes that customers can use to select discounts. And, as one theory goes, if the cost of an item ends in a four, the price won’t be reduced any further – and the product should therefore be snapped up. But unfortunately, there are apparently no codes of this nature, and Snopes debunked the persistent rumor back in 2014.

And if you’re a Target lover, you may also be a Cheesecake Factory fan. After all, who can resist the spinach and cheese dip or a slice of the super-indulgent Black-Out Cake? Behind the scenes, though, employees at the restaurant chain can tell you a surprising thing or two.

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It’s grown from what was at first housewife’s at-home operation to one of the most famous restaurant chains with about 200 locations. But what is it really like working at The Cheesecake Factory? Here we reveal 40 secrets behind the iconic brand that has been named one of the best companies to be an employee.

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40. It came from humble beginnings

The Cheesecake Factory is now a major chain and exists around the world. So it’s hard to believe that it started out in the basement of Evelyn Overton back in the 1940s. Overton used to make cheesecake in the basement of her Detroit home and then sell it to restaurants nearby.

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39. Recipes are shared online… but the cheesecake recipe is a secret

Fans of The Cheesecake Factory can recreate some of their favorite dishes at home. That’s because the company website features several of its recipes, including how to make savory items, pancakes and waffles. However, one recipe that you won’t find on there is for the cheesecake, as that is kept a strict secret.

38. It was named one of the best companies to work for

The Cheesecake Factory is considered one of the ultimate places to work. It is after all the only restaurant company that has made the Fortune list of 100 Best Companies To Work For multiple years running. The Cheesecake Factory has remained a fixture on the list since 2014, and in 2019 it was ranked in the 25th spot.

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37. General managers are given BMWs

Working your way up the ladder at The Cheesecake Factory leads to impressive perks. For example, general managers get to drive BMW cars that are leased to them through the company. Interestingly, some other food companies have it even better. Managers at In-N-Out are paid more than $100,000 a year and even given paid holidays with partners.

36. The original cheesecake recipe came from a newspaper

Although Overton’s recipe has become famous, it actually wasn’t her own. She originally discovered it in a newspaper and decided to give it a try. Clearly, it was a hit. And the homemaker then began creating cheesecakes to sell at her home, using baking equipment she had moved into her basement.

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35. Nutritional information lacks

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Meanwhile, the signature dish isn’t the only thing that’s shrouded in mystery at The Cheesecake Factory. Nutritional information for the food is not available online, and in fact in print it exists only at locations in states required to share such facts. But it’s safe to say that it’s not a spot for healthy eating, as the Center for Science in the Public Interest discovered that three of the highest-calorie dishes at any restaurant could be found at The Cheesecake Factory.

34. Cheesecakes aren’t made in store

Those cheesecakes that you see proudly on display in each location weren’t made in-house. In fact, all of the cheesecakes are baked at headquarters in Calabasas, California, and Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Then they are shipped frozen across the country and defrosted for around one or two hours before serving.

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33. There are restaurants around the globe

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The Cheesecake Factory is known for being an American brand, but it actually has about 200 locations around the world – including in some surprising places. In Dubai, The Cheesecake Factory is at the base of an indoor ski slope. What’s more, there’s one in Saudi Arabia, one in Puerto Rico and one in Kuwait.

32. There’s no professional taster

If you think a professional taster selects each dish at The Cheesecake Factory, you’d be wrong. However, they are all sampled before going on the menu – by Overton’s son: David. He still tastes and approves every single item, as well as choosing the music that plays in the restaurants.

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31. Hawaii’s Diamond Head volcanic cone inspired the Luau Salad

One popular item that has been on the menu at The Cheesecake Factory is the Luau Salad. The salad includes tropical flavors and crispy wonton sheets – and there’s apparently an explanation behind its unique look. The way that the salad is put together is supposedly inspired by the volcanic cone of Diamond Head in Hawaii.

30. Each location has to make 100 sauces each day

There are in excess of 100 sauces used at The Cheesecake Factory – and none of them comes from a bottle. Instead, they all have to be prepared fresh at each restaurant location every single day. One of these is a tamarind-cashew dipping sauce that is especially complicated and takes around an hour to make.

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29. Customers can purchase the sauces and famous brown bread

The Cheesecake Factory’s sauces are well liked, and so is its iconic brown bread. “At McDonald’s, it’s the french fries. At The Cheesecake Factory, it’s the bread,” the brand’s chief culinary officer, Donald Moore, told Today in March 2019. And customers can also have the items at home. The bread is available to buy in grocery stores, and any sauce can be purchased directly from the restaurants.

28. It gives back

As a company, The Cheesecake Factory cares about giving back. It has its own nonprofit organization that has brought in more than $2.5 million for clinical research center City of Hope. Additionally, The Cheesecake Factory does its part to salvage food and prevent waste and gives 500,000 pounds of food each year to people in need.

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27. It invented carrot cake cheesecake

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The cheesecake may not be an original recipe, but the restaurant has taken the dish to the next level. As a joke, a carrot cake cheesecake was once created for a friend, and it became so popular that it is still on the menu. You can thank The Cheesecake Factory for being the first to create the dish.

26. It’s loyal to its employees

All these years later, Overton continues to play a big part in his family business. And he’s not the only one who has stayed with the company for decades. Proving just how loyal The Cheesecake Factory is to its employees and vice versa, the original test baker that it hired in 1977 is now working as its vice president of Guest Experience.

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25. There are secret menu items

It’s well known that the menu at The Cheesecake Factory is gigantic. But customers can still ask for items that are not on the menu as well. That famous brown bread? Any sandwich can be substituted with it, and the club sandwich is said to be particularly delicious with that adaptation.

24. It was originally a bakery, and the first restaurant opened in 1978

Although The Cheesecake Factory started out in a basement kitchen, Overton had big dreams of some day owning her own bakery. And she made that a reality in 1972, starting a bakery in Los Angeles with what was left of her savings. Then in 1978 her son David opened the first restaurant, naming it The Cheesecake Factory because it was the best moniker that he could think of.

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23. All the food is prepared fresh every day

The cheesecakes are actually the only things that are not prepared in-house. Everything else is made in the restaurant locations, and that is why dishes can easily be modified. And preparing the various menu items from scratch is no easy task – it starts at 6:00 a.m. and involves 700 ingredients.

22. Customers can order cheesecakes to be delivered to their homes

You don’t have to go to The Cheesecake Factory to sample its famous dessert. Harry & David sells food and gifts, including cheesecakes from The Cheesecake Factory that can be shipped to you. Not all of them can be ordered this way, but original, chocolate mousse and white chocolate raspberry truffle are among those available for delivery.

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21. Wait staff spend a full week training and have to learn how to tie a tie

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The Cheesecake Factory may be considered one of the best places to work, but it also has high standards. According to a former server, there’s a rigorous training process. “There is a weeklong training that lasts all day, at which you learn everything,” an anonymous waitress told Refinery29 in 2017. “I had to learn how to tie a tie, which I didn’t know how to do.”

20. Servers have to use specific language

Interestingly, wait staff at The Cheesecake Factory have to be careful about what they say. “We also had to learn certain phrases. You never say ‘No,’ you say, ‘I’m sorry.’ You don’t say ‘Yes,’ you say, ‘Absolutely,’” the waitress revealed. “There were also certain things you were supposed to say about dishes that got sent back often, like, ‘The jambalaya is spicy, is that okay?’ ‘That dish comes with onions, is that okay?’”

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19. Wait staff must wear spotless monochrome uniforms

Servers at The Cheesecake Factory are always smartly dressed in white shirts and aprons. And while they used to wear white pants, they now sport black ones. Nevertheless, one thing about the monochromatic uniforms has not changed: they have to keep them spotless no matter how many times they spill stuff on them.

18. Employees get half-off discounts, and chefs get free meals

During the training process, employees sample The Cheesecake Factory’s dishes to get a better idea of what they’re selling. And when they’re working, they typically are given half-off discounts for their meals. But the chefs get an even better deal on their food, as they are given completely free meals.

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17. Employees have to showcase the cheesecakes at the end of a customer’s meal

Some people may head to The Cheesecake Factory for an entirely savory meal. But the cheesecake is the star of the show. and the company wants you to know that. That’s why servers are required to present the cheesecakes on offer to customers at the end of their meal, even if they’ve made it clear that they don’t want dessert.

16. It’s hard work but a great training ground

Being a server at The Cheesecake Factory may be more demanding than working for some other restaurant chains. Which is why a former employee admitted that it is an intense place to work but was good training. “I’m glad I have the experience because, for one, it gives me stories, but I also think it’s good to have that hardcore server experience,” she told Refinery29. “But you couldn’t pay me to repeat it.”

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15. The most popular flavor of cheesecake is red velvet

There are a total of 35 different cheesecakes, including some that are only available at certain times of the year. For example, the peppermint bark cheesecake is only on offer during the holiday season, and the pumpkin cheesecake becomes available in the fall. But despite the wide variety, it’s the red velvet that is by far the most popular.

14. Staff do team-building and are bought a meal if they do a double shift

One Cheesecake Factory worker did an “ask me anything” session on Reddit, giving an insight into working life there. And when asked to reveal something surprising, they shared that they get rewards through office well-being program Keas. “They have a team building health-food point based game they run with Keas for prizes and I think that is so cool!” the server wrote. “They also buy every employee a meal that works a double shift that day, as well as for other reasons.”

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13. Staff don’t get a lot of breaks

Being employed at The Cheesecake Factory means a lot of hard work. And on the Glassdoor website, some employees admitted that one of the downsides to the job is that it’s rare to get a break. The anonymous server confirmed this to Refinery29, admitting that you could only take a break if you got someone to cover for you.

12. You get a lot of crazy customer complaints

Seeing as The Cheesecake Factory is such a large chain, it won’t come as a surprise that servers have to get used to customers complaining. They’re taught to warn guests about spicy dishes and accommodate modifications, but that doesn’t stop them from receiving grievances. “Someone might send back the pulled pork because it wasn’t pulled enough,” the waitress said. “It would never have occurred to me to make that kind of complaint.”

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11. Servers have to learn the entire menu

It’s not just how to dress and what to say that servers have to learn during their rigorous training process. They also have to memorize details of every single item on the menu. And with 21 pages and over 250 dishes available, it’s easy to see why wait staff admitted that this can take months.

10. Applicants have to complete a 30-minute behavioral assessment

Around 35,000 people work for The Cheesecake Factory. And an interview isn’t the only way that employers determine who will be a good fit to join their staff. “Our applicants complete an online behavioral assessment that takes about 30 minutes,” vice president of talent selection Claire Prager told Cosmopolitan in 2015. “It is designed to help predict their on-the-job performance.”

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9. Even part-time employees get full benefits (and free cheesecake)

So why was The Cheesecake Factory named one of the best places to work several years in a row? Well, the perks for all staff members certainly factor toward that. Even part-time employees receive full benefits, just so long as they work at least 25 hours a week. Apparently, they also get free cheesecake.

8. There’s a reason the menu is 6,000 words long

It’s no accident that the menu is 6,000 words long. Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide To Creating Customers With Word Of Mouth authors Daniel Lemin and Jay Baer claimed that this is “a built-in differentiator that creates customer conversations.” What that means is that The Cheesecake Factory obtains free advertising by getting people to talk about their menu and share it online.

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7. The menu changes twice a year

Some items are fixtures on The Cheesecake Factory menu and have been for years. But others are swapped in and out when the menu is changed, which always takes place twice a year. “We usually add ten to 12 things and take off ten to 12 things,” Moore explained to Today.

6. David Overton still has the final decision on the menu

Decades after founding The Cheesecake Factory, David Overton is still an important part of the company. He remains its CEO, and he is also heavily involved in the menu. As well as taste testing every single item that goes on there, he decides what goes onto the menu and what is taken off each time it changes.

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5. The simple recipe for the cheesecake has never changed

Despite how much The Cheesecake Factory has grown, one thing that’s stayed the same is the recipe. Overton told Vice in 2016, “We haven’t changed the recipe of my mother. We just make new ones with new things inside: flavors.” He added, “We just try to make it as good as she did. You can’t patent it. Good cheesecake is just five ingredients. It’s just how you mix them.”

4. The avocado egg rolls take four hours to make

The avocado egg rolls are the best-loved appetizer on The Cheesecake Factory menu – and they’re a big reason that the company gets through 3.1 million pounds of avocado each year. But it takes four hours to prepare them daily. There are around 20 steps and 18 ingredients to make just the sauce that comes with the egg rolls.

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3. The chicken is butchered and processed in-house

Another of the most time-consuming dishes to create is also one of the most popular. The chicken madeira is a favorite of The Cheesecake Factory and takes a long time to cook from scratch. The chicken is butchered in each location, and the meat has to be pounded for between two and four hours every day.

2. Guests can still get the factory burger

Meanwhile, some were disappointed when the factory burger was taken off the menu. However, the dish that consisted of a cheeseburger on the famous brown bread can still be ordered upon request. This is particularly true at the original location of The Cheesecake Factory in Beverly Hills, California, where guests need only ask if they want the factory burger.

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1. They know who their most loyal customers are

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Finally, a couple named Chuck and Odette Ebersole visit The Cheesecake Factory between ten and 12 times per week – and have been customers for 30 years. “I absolutely know Chuck and Odette still eat at The Cheesecake Factory every week because if something isn’t up to their liking, I get an email,” Moore told Today. “They’re our best guests. They’re a part of our culture at The Cheesecake Factory.”

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