Soapbox standing

I just got a chat question to help a student research information on the Cheesecake Factory. You know, strengths, weaknesses (SWOT stuff) and company culture and structure. I hit the usual spots, EBSCO, Hoover’s, company website for investor reports. Since it’s Friday and nothing is going on, I decide to read up on the Cheesecake Factory. I don’t spend too much time thinking about it in my normal day to day life so why not learn something.

Well, for the third year in a row, they were named one of the top 100 companies to work for by Fortune Magazine, exactly no. 98 in 2016. Well they believe that “people are their greatest resource”. That’s sweet. And apparently 97% of employees feel proud to work for this company. That’s pretty amazing.

But really, the more I think about it, look at their website, and reports, the more I hate it. I just do. I avoid chain joints like this at all costs. The interior looks like it is some sad version of a hotel room, or office. Something inside me tells me that this is where empty men and women in suits take the co-workers they have affairs with while on business conferences away from their significant others. These places have no soul. They get their money by serving food that is overinflated with calories, sodium and fats. Also probably some super sugary drink menu and obviously overindulgent sugar laden desserts. Do you really have to use the word factory in the name? This makes me picture some sort of conveyor belt type situation. OK, maybe I’ve only been there once and I’m being unfair. But honestly, if somebody took me out to the Cheesecake Factory I would probably never go out with them again. These places sell you garbage and call it food. It’s heartless, sad, food disguised by good marketing and ploys to trick the consumer into spending their money. WHY aren’t the nutrition facts easily available online? After searching the menu they are nowhere to be found, thought this was a law now. Anyways. They are probably a great company. Great company meaning that they are making money, and doing it at a decent enough rate to keep pumping this crap out and into your lap and your inner thighs.

I know that places are trying to do better, and trying to think about their consumers, and sustainability, etc. Which is good, people are becoming more conscious. But, things won’t change until people start demanding them to. The food industry sells you convenient, delicious “food” packed with salt, sugar and fat basically to the point that it’s really not even food anymore. Companies spend millions (billions?) of dollars in factories trying to scientifically manufacture a “bliss point” for the consumer with the perfect amount of sugar to light up all your pleasure sensors and get you hooked. It’s all about money for them. Money, no matter what the detriment to the consumer. I read this really great book about the whole food industry bit, check it out, it’s pretty interesting. Especially when you actually really get a look into the motives of these companies. I’m sure they will have it at your local lib. It’s called Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss, link below for more info.

By no means am I somebody to be on an all organic vegan diet. Nor am I in any kind of Victoria’s Secret swimsuit model shape. I like beer, and bacon, and yeah I just ate a pack of peanut M&M’s like 20 minutes ago. But, I was never educated about this, when I was younger I ate nothing but fast food and for a while had to reel it back when I realized that the salad I was ordering actually had more than 1200 calories and more than 3 days’ worth of sodium. How does that even happen? How does this all fit into these dishes, I have no idea. How did we let this get so far that people are now poisoning themselves slowly with the very thing that is supposed to be sustaining their lives? It’s crooked, and backwards, and maybe just a small portion of what’s wrong in this world. But I was just thinking about it. Since I was researching it anyways. So sorry if I offended any Cheesecake Factory lovers out there, it’s not a specific attack, just a general rant I guess. There’s something bigger at hand here, and it always riles me up.


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