The Cheesecake Factory is expected to skip April rent payments at its restaurants in a bid to shore up its finances as the coronavirus rages on.
The national chain’s decision to withhold payments, first reported by Eater.com, comes as the company’s dining rooms remain temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have very strong, longstanding relationships with our landlords,” The Cheesecake Factory said in a statement. “We are certain that with their partnership, we will be able to work together to weather this storm in the appropriate manner.”
Most locations of The Cheesecake Factory are still open for takeout and delivery. The company said on Monday that it was able to “operate sustainably at present under this model.”
But the decision not to pay rent is proving worrisome to investors. The company’s stock fell 17.4% in pre-market trading to $15.80 at 8:57 a.m.
The Cheesecake Factory on Monday also said it had drawn an additional $90 million on its revolving credit facility to boost its cash on hand and has curbed its plans to open new restaurants this year.
The Cheesecake Factory owns and operates 294 restaurants, including North Italia locations and other concepts, in the U.S. and Canada. Another 26 locations operate under licensing agreements in other countries.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.