Tonight at a retirement party for a friend, I had cheesecake from the cheesecake factory for dessert. I've heard people talking about the cheesecake factory (it seems like a popular place to go with our 20 something interns) but I have never been in one and I have never had one of their cheesecakes before now. The cheesecake was good enough (totally passable but no Scott Fischbein by any means) but as I was eating it I thought, "What does it say about our society that calling a restaurant a _____ factory is actually a viable marketing strategy?" I've only been to a spaghetti factory restaurant once, but once was enough.
What is it with these places? Why is calling a restaurant a factory a good idea? Factories bring images to my mind of mass production, endless sameness, uniformity, and mediocrity. It does not evoke images of quality, craftsmanship or that personal touch. In fact, factories are the last thing that I want associated with my food. Somehow in America, the image of ten thousand average cheesecakes rolling down a conveyor belt is just what the doctor ordered. Or was that eight billion plates of spaghetti...?