David M. Overton – Chief Executive Officer Of The Cheesecake Factory

by Kristine Bigcas

David Michael Overton is an American entrepreneur who owns the ninth largest company in the United States of America. He owns and manages The Cheesecake Factory, Inc., and takes the position as Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. He has inherited and continued the family business for a long time and has helped raise the initial $52 million sales to $1.97 billion. This was just in 2014 and since then the company has about 18% yearly revenue. He has been recognized as “Executive of the Year” and has been given the “Silver Plate Award” among others. The growing success of The Cheesecake Factory can be credited highly to him for his excellent work as its CEO.

Early Life and Family

He was born on April 13, 1946, in Detroit, Michigan. His parents, Oscar Overton and Evelyn Overton, were the first managers and owners of The Cheesecake factory. He possessed the traits of being driven and hard working when he was growing up. He had one sibling that goes by the name of Renee.

For his education, he went to Wayne State University and took a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and History. He finished his tertiary education in 1967. Right after his undergraduate studies, he then enrolled in Hastings College of Law. This has forced him to move to San Francisco. David, however, did not pursue his advanced studies because of his dreams of becoming a professional drummer.

David joined Billy Roberts Blues Band as the drummer. They played together in different clubs in San Francisco and in some ballrooms as well throughout the late 1960’s.

He is now married to his wife Sheila and shares three kids with her. All their kids are not involved in the business, however. In an interview, he had discussed how we wanted for his kids to take over the business but also said that “it doesn’t bother me that they didn’t,” referring to his son’s choices. He defended that “they’re all very creative, and I think it’s more important that they pursue something that they love like I did.”

Business Venture

The Cheesecake Factory, Inc. did not start big. In fact, it was a struggling business since its beginning in the 1940’s. Without real knowledge on how to run a business, David gave up his drummer dreams to help out his parents’ business. He has convinced his parents into moving to Los Angeles as a fresh start. He was only 26 at that time. By 1975, he was already a full-time and hands-on manager of the business. Three years later, he opened another branch in Beverly Hills, California where selected desserts were on the menu. By this time, more than twenty type of cheesecakes were offered by the shop.

Just after he has opened the first branch of The Cheesecake Factory, one family member had told him to sell out the restaurant and earn about $50,000. But, he didn’t feel like it was the right thing for him to do. Instead, he had kept it running and now, he says that he is “certainly glad” that he didn’t push through with the suggestion.

In 1999, he founded the Grand Lux Cafe in Las Vegas. It first opened in the Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino. He has also promoted charitable service in his business. In 2001, the Oscar & Evelyn Overton Charitable Foundation was founded and supports different causes. His companies also support varied charitable events and send gift card donations for different communities and organizations that need support.

The Cheesecake Factory has an annual tradition on July 30 and 31. They have called it the “National Cheesecake Day” in which they give out 50% discount on any cheesecake they have. During the 2017 press release for the event, he said, “National Cheesecake Day has become an annual tradition at The Cheesecake Factory, and we look forward to it all year.” He had also announced that a new product is served on the same days.Along with offering our guests any slice for half price, we are so pleased to mark the occasion by introducing our delicious, new Celebration Cheesecake.”

Awards

David Overton has been a recipient of multiple awards. Some of it is the “MenuMasters Hall of Fame Award,” “Entrepreneur of the Year,” and “Leadership Roundtable-Industry Leadership Award.” These are only a few of those recognition he has received through the years.

Personal Life and Beliefs

He is a member of a religious group, Sufism Reoriented despite growing up as a Jewish child. The community believes in Meher Baba, an Indian man who spread teachings about oneness and love, the reincarnation of Christ, Buddha, and God. As a support to the community, he has given a huge amount for the construction of the Sufism Temple in Saranap, California.

Net Worth

David has a compensation of more than $5.9 million as the Chief Executive Officer of The Cheesecake Factory. This is the accumulated amount of the cash compensation and his equity from his stocks.