Casual Dining Competitive Analysis

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Casual Dining Competitive Analysis

A competitive analysis was made for The Cheesecake Factory, BJs Restaurant & Brewhouse, California Pizza Kitchen, Olive Garden, and PF Changs with respect to their relative popularity, what they are best known for, demographic of guests, key messages, recent media coverage, and recent marketing campaigns. All relevant information for the five casual dining restaurants has been gathered and documented in the attached spreadsheet.
For this request, information was gathered from reputable sources such as restaurants’ official websites, press releases, industry reports, and other trusted media sites.
— To identify the relative popularity of the restaurants, we defined each based on their social media following, the tone of comments by their customers, and if they are most often chosen within casual dining chains.
— All the five restaurants cater to customers of all ages and do not have a specific target demographic. However, with the changes in recent eating habits, the restaurants are redesigning their menus and customer experience development to focus on millennials and Gen Zers.
— The key messages identified for the five restaurants are related to love, time, fresh ingredients, and family-themed.
— Each restaurant received a large amount of media coverage over the past 18 months. We have provided three articles each that were deemed most “interesting” or “impactful”.


The Cheesecake Factory:

The Cheesecake Factory was chosen as America’s favorite casual dining restaurant in 2016. The choice was made based on a survey conducted by the Nation’s Restaurant News, which gathered responses from over 4,805 diners. According to the SpoonUniversity, this brand is popular because its menu has a wide variety of options to choose from. They are best known for their wide range of cheesecakes, especially their Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake. Their recent marketing campaign portrays the key message of “Made With Love” which consists of two short films (video ads) featuring the Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake and the Peanut Butter Chocolate cake Cheesecake. They have over 375,000 followers on Twitter.

BJs Restaurant & Brewhouse:

According to PRNewswire, BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse is critically acclaimed. The casual dining restaurants are popular for its large and innovative menu that features their "award-winning, signature deep-dish pizza". BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse reported over 65.7 million visitors in the year 2016. The restaurant is best known for their authentic hand-crafted beers and their world-famous Pizookie Dessert. Their key messages include “Time Counts at a Brewhouse” and “Big or small, make sure every moment is worth the wait”, indicating “time” as a key factor in their promotion. The company has over 84,000 followers on Twitter.

California Pizza Kitchen

According to a survey conducted by the Daily Meal in 2017 on 'the new readers' favorite', California Pizza Kitchen stood second among 34 other pizza chains in the country. The respondents chose based on freshness, quality, deliciousness of the meals, service, convenience, experience, and menu diversity. California Pizza Kitchen has over 37,300 followers on Twitter. The casual dining restaurant attracted over 1.12 million visitors over a duration of 30 days in the spring of 2017. The restaurant is best known for its original Barbecue Chicken Pizza. Their key message pushes the concept of using fresh ingredients from around the world and shares the concept with their marketing campaign titled “Our Real Ingredient Promise”.

Olive Garden

The Olive Garden took the 7th spot in the list of America's favorite casual dining restaurants in the year 2016. The restaurant is widely popular for its authentic Italian dishes. They are best known for their Breadstick Sandwiches. Their recent marketing campaign focuses on the concept of being a family-friendly restaurant. Over 28.16 million customers visited the Olive Garden over a duration of 30 days, in the spring of 2017. The Olive Garden has over 392,000 followers on Twitter.

PF Changs

PF Changs is an Asian themed casual dining restaurant. According to ThrilList, the restaurant is always packed because of its wide variety Asian food that features a large range of noodles, beef, and seafood dishes. They are best known for their Chang’s Lettuce Wraps. Their key message “Farm to Wok” indicates their food philosophy of making dishes from scratch. Their key message is shared by their marketing campaigns #scienceofthewok and #BehindTheWok, both of which highlight their tradition of using the Wok to cook. PF Changs has over 93,100 followers on Twitter.


To wrap up, the five casual dining restaurants were researched to provide a competitive analysis. All relevant information for The Cheesecake Factory, BJs Restaurant & Brewhouse, California Pizza Kitchen, Olive Garden, and PF Changs have been documented in the attached spreadsheet.