Cheesecake Factory's New Rewards Program Features Freebies And Fast Seating

On June 1, the Cheesecake Factory will launch the nationwide rollout of its Cheesecake Rewards program, offering guests exclusive free perks for signing up. Those perks currently include access to dining reservations, which have previously been limited, and a complimentary slice of cheesecake for your birthday. As an incentive to sign up early, the brand is offering an additional free welcome slice to guests who sign up between now and Labor Day.

The program is the first of its kind from the Cheesecake Factory, and unlike other rewards programs, it isn't based on accruing points or dollar amounts spent. Instead, the program will offer surprise perks throughout the year in addition to the free birthday cheesecake slice and access to reservations. By providing your information, the program may potentially tailor offers to guests based on their dining preferences, encouraging repeat visits to their favorite restaurant locations. To sign up, you'll need to provide your name, birthday, mobile phone number, and email address on the Cheesecake Factory's website.

To experience the new Cheesecake Rewards program for ourselves, the restaurant invited us to dine at the Oak Brook, Illinois location, which is currently piloting the rewards program ahead of the nationwide launch. We were able to see for ourselves how easy it is to sign up, make a reservation, and redeem rewards. 

Access to reservations on busy nights

One of the biggest rewards to members is the reservation system, which provides guests with the benefit of time. Cheesecake Factory restaurants have hundreds of seats but are often packed on busy nights and holidays, with extremely limited reservations. Subsequently, wait times can range anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. For those who don't want to risk an extended wait or need to fit dining into a tighter schedule, access to primetime reservations can be a huge benefit.

To test out the new reservation system, we signed up for the rewards program online and saved the Oak Brook restaurant as our favorite location. Shortly after signing up, we received an email welcoming us to the program, followed by an additional email confirming our complimentary welcome slice reward, valid for 30 days after signing up. We were also sent automatic reminders about our reservation via email and text, which reassured us that we'd have a table waiting for us.

Our table was ready the moment we arrived at the restaurant, and we were promptly seated, making the whole reservation process smooth from start to finish. Note: for locations currently outside of the pilot program, a previous reservation system was created through Yelp Reservations. That reservation system is not connected to the rewards program and will close at the end of May.

A real treat for cheesecake lovers

For anyone who's enthusiastic about the desserts at The Cheesecake Factory, the new rewards program seems like something you'd absolutely want to sign up for. Slices of cheesecake are famously large and indulgent and — depending on the location — can cost up to $11.95 per slice. With its current offerings, the Cheesecake Rewards program has the potential to save you over $20, with an additional free slice every year on your birthday. The reward also applies to the layer cakes on the menu if cheesecake isn't your thing. Since the rewards program is free to sign up for, that's an easy win with a tangible benefit.

Additionally, Cheesecake Rewards members can currently save $10 when linking their Doordash account and placing their first order — which could cover the cost of another slice of cheesecake (or a small plate option if you don't have much of a sweet tooth).

During our first rewards dining experience, we made sure to save just enough room for dessert to enjoy our welcome slice reward. The slice was deducted from the final bill without any issues, automatically taking off the most expensive dessert (which in our case was the Coconut Cream Pie cheesecake), which made for an extra-sweet end to a rewarding meal.