1) Reconsider your previous caustic criticism of the Cheesecake Factory’s gaudy, stylized columns. They provide great cover.
2) Flip through the biblical menu and rip out the “Skinnylicious®” page. Wave it around you like a protective talisman. Cheesecake Factory patrons will catch sight of dishes like Skinnylicious® Fresh Vegetable Salad and be afraid of you.
3) Lock yourself in the restroom. The riot in the dining area might wage on for hours or even days, but don’t worry about going hungry. Waiters will still come by every ten minutes with baskets of warm bread and big chunks of butter.
4) Stop mocking the extravagant, exoticism-tinged ancient-Egypt vibe of the place. Instead, respect it. You may be able to make a devil’s bargain with Apep, Enemy of Ra and Lord of Chaos. He will see you through.
5) Politely ask your fellow rioters if they would like some extra whipped cream on their free cheesecake slices. In a moment of short-sighted gluttony, your adversaries might say yes. This will slow them down.
6) Dislodge letters from the the Cheesecake Factory sign at the entrance. The over-the-top serif font makes them good for stabbing.
7) Say you are actually there for the tiramisu or the apple crisp (the Cheesecake Factory actually sells these!). Everyone will be confused. Exploit that confusion.
8) Yell, “TIME OUT!” Then, snap a cute pic of your free Very Cherry Ghirardelli Chocolate Cheesecake and upload it with the hashtag #lastmeal? Your fellow rioters will understand that even in the middle of a kill-or-be-killed riot, your Instagram followers must know what you’re eating.
9) If all else fails, channel your inner Cardi B and let that shoe fly. It will inflict as much pain in a fast casual eatery as on the red carpet. For extra damage, tape a dessert fork to the heel.
10) Take a moment to ponder the sweet absurdity of modern life and the potential for madness lurking right below the surface in the world of suburban restoration. Then sprint for the exit. That distant siren means the cops are coming.