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First Look: Cheesecake Factory Opening in Orland Park Wednesday

The new 9,400 square-foot restaurant serving a novel-sized menu of entrees and cheesecakes opens this week for business. Take look inside while they held a test run over the weekend.

While walking into Orland Park’s latest addition to its dining scene Friday night, diners were given instructions.

Order entrees and an appetizer from specific menus, ask the server a specific question about take out service and pay attention to how knowledgeable the servers are on the roughly 250 menu items available, we were told.

Test lunches and dinners were held Friday and Saturday at the new Cheesecake Factory, on the west side of Orland Square Mall next to Macy’s, as part of the lead up to the restaurant’s opening on Wednesday at 11 a.m.

“We have 270 staff members for the Orland Park location, and depending on the position, some have been in training for about the last three weeks,” said Alethea Rowe, senior director of public relations and brand management for the Calabasas, Calif.-based chain. “On the final test day (on Sunday), they have to get a 90 percent or better.”

Achieving that score isn’t a small feat with the extensive food, drink and dessert menus available. Preparation for all the items also is a sizable effort, as the restaurant produces a vast majority of its items by scratch in house, Howe said.

“Our prep kitchen is larger than the main kitchen, which is a unique feature compared to other casual dining restaurants,” Rowe said.

The restaurant will be the first full sit-down establishment in Orland Sqaure, since Ruby Tuesday closed in 2011.

While slightly smaller than most of the chain’s 159 restaurants across the country, the Orland Square restaurant features a unique aspect with an indoor patio area in the mall proper, along with an outdoor patio for warmer times.

Since 2008, The Cheesecake Factory has partnered with the Chicago-based hunger relief charity Feeding America.

Each year, the restaurant picks a cheesecake where 25 cents from every slice sold goes to the charity, Rowe said. This year’s cheesecake is Oreo Dream Extreme, until summer 2013. The partnership has led to about $2.7 million donated from the restaurant since it began, Rowe said.

“The Chicago area has really been wonderful to us for many years,” Rowe said. “And we’re happy now to be in Orland Park.”

Cheesecake Factory is now offering a card for a free cheesecake slice for every $25 bought in gift cards.

From Wednesday’s opening and on, the restaurant will be open during the following hours:

  • Mon.-Thurs: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Fri.-Sat.: 11 a.m.-midnight
  • Sun: 10 a.m.-11 p.m. (brunch served from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.)

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ms.a March 22, 2013 at 05:41 AM
I flaggef one my la st comments so it could be erased didn't want to offend anyone n worded it wrong ..terrible things h ass ppen at malls sh op lifting amongst other things gere don't matter its sad but orland mall and every bui as ness in it is great that's why its so busy n the cheesecske fsctory n foox is great!:)-
ms.a March 22, 2013 at 05:42 AM
I flaggef one my la st comments so it could be erased didn't want to offend anyone n worded it wrong ..terrible things h ass ppen at malls sh op lifting amongst other things genre don't matter its sad but orland mall and every buisness in it is great that's why its so busy n the cheesecske fsctory n foox is great!:)-
ms.a March 22, 2013 at 05:42 AM
I flaggef one my la st comments so it could be erased didn't want to offend anyone n worded it wrong ..terrible things h a ppen at malls sh op lifting amongst other things genre don't matter its sad but orland mall and every buisness in it is great that's why its so busy n the cheesecske fsctory n foox is great!:)-
C.S. May 03, 2013 at 01:51 PM
The food was terrible. I order the same thing every time I go, Chicken and biscuits. I love the Oak Brooke and Chicago locations, but Orland Mall's food is terrible. The portion size is wrong, the chicken is small and over cooked. I don't get enough veggies or sauce and they claim they changed the biscuit to one large biscuit but it looks like a half of a biscuit is on the plate. I will never eat at this location again and make the 45 min to an hour drive to Oak Brooke or Chicago to enjoy my favorite meal twice a year.
Larry January 12, 2014 at 12:59 PM
Hey there is crime everywhere don't kid yourself. But in many cases at the mall many customers that steal are being caught!! And if you don't like the food then don't complain don't go there again, I was in there last night and at 9:00pm it was still busy ,so something that they are doing something right. So if you like SNOBS GO TO OAKBROOK.

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