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coronavirus and the economy

The Cheesecake Factory tells landlords it won't be able to pay rent in April

The Cheesecake Factory has notified its landlords that it will not be able to make any rent payments in April, Eater Los Angeles reports.

In a letter dated March 18, Cheesecake Factory Chairman and CEO David Overton said he was "asking for your patience, and frankly, your help." Because of the coronavirus pandemic, several Cheesecake Factories have had to close or can only serve takeout and delivery, and as such the "severe decrease in restaurant traffic has severely decreased our cash flow and inflicted a tremendous financial blow to our business," Overton said. The company hopes to "resume our rent payments as soon as reasonably possible" but "cannot predict the extent or the duration of the current crisis."

The first Cheesecake Factory opened in 1972 in Beverly Hills; today, there are 294 locations in the United States and Canada. The company, which employs 38,000 people, has had to temporarily close 27 restaurants because of the coronavirus pandemic. A Cheesecake Factory representative told Eater Los Angeles the company has "very strong, longstanding relationships with our landlords. We are certain that with their partnership, we will be able to work together to weather this storm in the appropriate manner."