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 Culinary Workers Union, Local 226
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[Culinary Workers Union Local 226]

Chris Bohner: 702-387-7005

Top Proxy Voting Firm and Public Pension Fund Back Culinary
Union's Shareholder Proposals at The Cheesecake

Washington, DC -- Today, Culinary Workers Union Local 226
announced that Institutional Shareholder Services (the
leading provider of proxy voting and corporate governance
services) and the New York State Common Retirement Fund
(which oversees $114 billion in state retirement assets) will
support the Culinary Union's shareholder proposals seeking
reform of The Cheesecake Factory's stock option and corporate
governance policies.  The proposals will be voted on by
shareholders at The Cheesecake Factory's May 13, 2003 annual

"We are delighted that ISS and the New York State Common
Retirement Fund are supporting all six of our shareholder
proposals at the Cheesecake Factory," said Chris Bohner, senior
research analyst at the Culinary .  "It reaffirms the clear
message we are sending to the company:  it is time for the
Cheesecake Factory to reform the company's stock option
policies and modernize its poor corporate governance."

The New York State Fund owns approximately 900,000 shares of The
Cheesecake Factory, or approximately 1.8% of the
outstanding shares of the company.  ISS, which advises large
institutional investors on proxy issues, has been described by
the Wall Street Journal as "influential" whose recommendations
can "move a stock or alter a corporate strategy."

The Culinary Union is asking shareholders to vote for two stock
option proposals recommending that the Company begin
expensing stock options and subject all stock option plans to
shareholder approval.

In addition, the Culinary Union is urging shareholders to vote
for four corporate governance proposals asking the company
to institute annual elections for directors, separate the
position of Chairman and CEO, subject the company's "poison pill"
a shareholder vote, and remove the Company's requirement that
governance changes receive approval from at least 80% of
all shares voted.

The Culinary Union and affiliated benefit plans own approximately
30,000 shares of The Cheesecake Factory.  The Culinary
Union's parent organization, the Hotel Employees and Restaurant
Employees International Union, is a member of the
Council of Institutional Investors, a corporate governance
organization representing over $1 trillion in assets.