May 5, 2014

Good News, Bad News, and a Bunch of Cheesecake

First the bad news...

April 2014 represented an unfortunate milestone in BeautyAndTheRoBeast history. It was the first time since its inception December 2007 that a month went by with no post. There are a number of reasons--computer problems, original content being too spread thin over Facebook/Twitter/YouTube, too many trips to the Cheesecake Factory--but they're all just excuses. It's no secret that there's been a steady decline in content here over the years (a quick view of the stats over on the right shows that), but this full month lapse was something I thought would never happen. Sorry, faithful readers.

Now the good news...

All those trips to the Cheesecake Factory are generating the first post here in over a month.

I really had no intention of going to that restaurant so many times, but the RoBeastress and I just happened to be hungry and in the same mall three weeks in a row. There was also no wait which appeals to my deepest dining emotions.

I'm not sure that I'd ever been to one before and was shocked by the size of the menu. Sure, half of it is advertisements (ridiculous), but there's also a lot on it. The portions are also gigantic so it wasn't until the third trip that I actually had enough room in my body to fit a slice of cheesecake. The first time we shared an appetizer and each had an entree. The second time, just an entree. On the third trip we realized the only way we could get our intesteyes on the prize was to split a small appetizer and go right to the cheesecake page.

There are quite a few cheesecakes to choose from, but most amazing to me are the cheesecakes that feature multiple ingredients. It's not interesting because of the potentially delicious combinations--it's because there's a cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory that has two products from competing corporations all on the same slice.

Sure, there are a plenty of solo works--the Oreo® Dream Extreme Cheesecake, the Hershey®'s Chocolate Bar Cheesecake, the Godiva® Chocolate Cheesecake, and of course the Reese's® Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake which features the word "cake" twice in its name--but take a look at this:

Adam's Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple
Creamy Cheesecake Swirled with Caramel, Peanut Butter, Butterfingers® and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups®

Butterfinger is owned by Nestlé and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are owned by Hershey's. This is probably mindblowing only to me, but I think it's fascinating that these two competing companies are able to co-exist on a single menu item.

I know what you're saying--" can go into any ice cream shop and get whatever toppings you want even if they are from competing companies." Yes, that's true. But those companies don't exactly want you choosing their competitors. Sure, Mars will let you throw some Reese's Pieces next to their M&M's on your banana split because it's a free country, but they would much prefer those Reese's Pieces to rot a mile underground in a New Mexico desert. They will do what they can to make sure you choose them over the other. But on the Adam's slice of Cheesecake, a Butterfinger and a Reese's Cup are a package deal. They're advertised together and you're giving money to both companies.

I can't imagine Nestlé andHershey's got together one day and said "Let's form an alliance over at Cheesecake Factory." It's more likely that some dude at Cheesecake Factory named Adam was all "People seem to be into this peanut butter and chocolate mess" and then had to call up Nestlé and Hershey's to see if it was OK with them. Nestlé didn't care because they don't have anything else on the menu, but Hershey's decided to make a power play: "Fine, but you have to put something with Hershey's higher on the menu than something with Oreos or Godiva in it."

Godiva was just happy to be on the menu in the US, so Adam didn't even call them. The call to Nabisco was going to be dreadful though. He waited all week to make it. Adam finally got on the horn and said "Listen, I'm in a real pickle. I gotta bump your Oreo® Dream Extreme Cheesecake down below Hershey's on the Cheesecake page."

Nabisco said "Hold up, lemme make a quick call" then looked up the phone number for Cadbury in its Mondelēz International internal phone directory. "Why do I have Hershey starting shit with us over at the Cheesecake Factory?"

Cadbury said "WTF? I thought we were pals with Hershey. They make all our chocolate in the United States."

"It must be an ego thing. Two can play that game," said Nabisco, then called Adam back. "Fuck no. Oreo will not be below Hershey's."

Adam knew this would be a possibility so he said "How about this... I'll let you put your whole logo on there instead of just the word 'Oreo.'"

Nabisco said "You're god damned right you are, but that's just for bothering us at the end of the fucking day on a Friday. We will still not allow the Oreo® Dream Extreme Cheesecake to be below that Hershey®'s Chocolate Cake bullshit," then hung up.

Adam was at a loss. He was already in trouble for screwing around on the Factory floor and this Peanut Butter Fudge Cheesecake was going to save his job. People were eating it up, but he knew he'd get so much more attention with some registered trademark symbols in the description. He had to come up with something.

On Monday he called Nabisco. "Listen, I've figured out a loophole." Silence, but no dial tone. This was progress. "You get the logo."

"Keep going..."

"Oreo® Dream Extreme Cheesecake will be above Hershey®'s Chocolate Bar Cheesecake."


"And you guys own Honey Maid graham crackers, right?"


"I'll make something a S'mores thing with your crackers and Hershey's chocolate and put it at the top of the menu just below our original cheesecakes. Hershey's name will be in the description, but not in the name of the cheesecake. And I'll throw in a line about 25 cents from each sale goes to starving kids or something--people won't even notice the word 'Hershey.'"


And? What did they mean 'And?' Adam thought to himself. Was all that not enough? 

"And... uh... we won't sell it anywhere outside the country. The Oreo logo will always be first in the Middle East and anywhere we expand!"

"It's a deal."

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the leopard got its spots.