P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and Cheesecake Factory are known as “gourmet chains.”  These restaurants offer food at a higher price-point than a typical quick-service restaurant and focus offering upscale food and drinks in a family-friendly setting.

P.F. Chang’s services “American Chinese food” across its 200 United States and international locations.  Cheesecake Factory operates approximately 150 locations in the United States

How will these gourmet-chain restaurants compare in terms of check-in traffic?  Let’s find out.

Total Check-Ins: The number of check-ins that each brand has received across all its venues.

P.F Chang’s: 38,596

Cheesecake Factory: 229,691

Wow, despite having fewer locations than P.F. Chang’s, Cheesecake Factory has nearly 6x the number of check-ins as P.F. Chang’s.  One explanation is that according to investor reports, P.F. Chang’s does just under $1 billion in annual revenues, while Cheesecake Factory does $1.6 billion. Maybe Cheesecake Factory just has more customers? Let’s explore below.

Total People: The total number of people that have checked-in.  Unique people will be fewer than total check-ins, as people may check-in more than once at a location..

P.F. Chang’s: 24,697

Cheesecake Factory 155,319

Cheesecake Factory again overwhelms P.F. Chang’s in terms of total number of people that have checked-in.  More than 6x more people have checked-in at Cheesecake Factory than P.F. Chang’s

Looking at check-ins per user will provide some context around just how popular these venues are.  By dividing Total Check-ins by Total People, we can learn about each brand’s customer loyalty.  (Higher is better.)

P.F. Chang’s: 1.56

Cheesecake Factory: 1.48

While P.F. Chang’s customers have checked-in slightly more often than Cheesecake Factory’s customers, there is no large difference in how often its customers check-in. The major difference in number of total check-ins at each venue is due to more than 100 thousand more people checking in at Cheesecake Factory.

Customer Overlap

Using detailed check-in analysis, we can also compare each brand’s customer and determine the overlap in their customer bases.

P.F. Chang’s: 10.1%

Cheesecake Factory: 2.2%

Wow, more than 10% of P.F. Chang’s customers have also checked-in at Cheesecake Factory.  This is an unbelievably high number.  Only a little more than 2% of Cheesecake Factory customers checked-in at P.F. Chang’s. It looks like P.F. Chang’s customers are much more likely to try other restaurants like Cheesecake Factory.

Finally, let’s take a look at average Social Influence, which is an indicator of how influential a brand’s customers are in the social web.  (Max score is 10.)

P.F. Chang’s: 2.3

Cheesecake Factory: 1.9

Oddly enough, it turns out that P.F. Chang’s customers hold, on average, more social influence than Cheesecake Factory’s customers.  One reason for this?  Because Cheesecake Factory has generated so many more check-ins, its customers may be trending towards the average, while P.F. Chang’s has fewer, but more influential, customers.

Check-Ins by Day

PlacePunch also analyzes check-in traffic, enabling brands to understand when customers check-in.

As expected, both restaurants experience a sharp uptick in check-ins over the weekend. This is expected, as both restaurants are not quick-service restaurants, and visits to them are seen as more “special events.”

Closing Thoughts
While both Cheesecake Factory and P.F. Chang’s are similar restaurants, Cheesecake Factory clearly overshadows P.F. Chang’s with its check-in traffic.  In order to gain mind share among consumers, P.F. Chang’s should strongly consider running “check-in specials” throughout its locations to attract more check-ins. Otherwise, Cheesecake Factory will continue to capitalize on the awareness it is creating through its hundreds of thousands of check-ins.