The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated (NASDAQ:CAKE) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript
Apr 25, 2018 • 05:00 pm ET
Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to The Cheesecake Factory, Incorporated First Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. (Operator Instructions) And as a reminder, this conference is being recorded.
I would now like to introduce your host for today's conference, Ms. Stacy Feit, Senior Director of Investor Relations. Ma'am, you may begin.
Thanks, Amanda. Good afternoon and welcome to our first quarter fiscal 2018 earnings call. On the call today are David Overton, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; David Gordon, our President; and Matt Clark, our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Before we begin, let me quickly remind you that during this call, items will be discussed that are not based on historical facts and are considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Actual results could be materially different from those stated or implied in forward-looking statements as a result of the factors detailed in today's press release, which is available on our website at investors.thecheesecakefactory.com and in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements made on this call speak only as of today's date and the company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statements. David Overton will begin today's call with some opening remarks, Matt will then take you through our financial results in detail and provide our outlook for the second quarter and the full year 2018. Following that, we'll open the call to questions.
With that, I'll turn the call over to David.
David M. Overton
Thank you, Stacy. Comparable sales growth of 2.1% at The Cheesecake Factory restaurants was very strong exceeding our guidance range and meaningfully outperforming the casual dining industry. The strength was broad based with nearly all of our geographies posting positive sales and outperforming their respective markets. We believe our initiatives along with a better consumer spending environment contributed to our improved sales performance.
Utilizing digital and social media campaigns, we continue to highlight our fresh, high-quality ingredients and preparation techniques, as well as our new winter menu items. These are key components of The Cheesecake Factory experience, which also translate well to our off-premise business. Delivery with a third-party provider is now available in 95% of our restaurants. Sales continue to grow and our operational execution has been solid.
In addition, all domestic Cheesecake Factory locations are now live with online ordering. We are seeing good initial reception and receiving great guest feedback, confirming the convenience this new platform offers. Importantly, the rollout was very smooth from an operational perspective. We expect online ordering to support to-go sales growth as we make our guests aware of the user-friendly option to enjoy Cheesecake Factory.
Looking ahead, we continue to expect to open as many as four to six restaurants including one Grand Lux Cafe. We expect our first opening in the third quarter. We now expect as many as four restaurants to open internationally under licensing agreements in 2018, including