Texas Roadhouse CEO Is Giving Up His Salary To Pay Front-Line Employees During COVID-19 Crisis

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It feels surreal to say this, but we’re truly living in unprecedented times. Humanity, as a whole, is largely rising to the occasion, putting its best foot forward in the battle against COVID-19. Everywhere you look there’s a story of almost everyone doing their part in the ordeal, even if it’s simply staying at home, away from other people.

The restaurant industry, of course, has been dealt a particularly heavy-handed blow, with millions losing their jobs in a matter of weeks.

In an effort to dedicate resources to assist front-hourly restaurant employees, Texas Roadhouse CEO Kent Taylor is forgoing his 100% of his base salary and bonus through January 7, 2021, according to a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

According to a Louisville Business Journal article last year, this is what his salary looks like.

CEO Kent Taylor’s compensation was $1.3 million in 2018, down from $8.5 million in 2017 — an 84 percent decrease, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. His base salary remained the same at $525,000. But he received stock awards of $7.3 million in 2017 and none in 2018. He also received stock awards in 2016, valued at $3.3 million. The amount he received in 2017 included performance-based and service-based restricted stock units, the filing said. Those weren’t there in 2018.

Additionally, a non-equity incentives compensation plan — also known as a bonus — paid Taylor $829,316 in 2018, up from $710,240 in 2017.

Texas Roadhouse remains open in communities around the country for curbside and to-go business. In a message to loyal guests on the Texas Roadhouse website, Kent says the chain is rolling out “Family Value Packs as well, so stay tuned to your local Texas Roadhouse for more information.”

So look out for that.

Just another reason why Texas Roadhouse is easily one of my favorite chain restaurants.

Let me list why it’s so damn great:

  • Everyone working there is happy all the time, in a very authentic way.
  • The big barrel of free shelled peanuts to eat while you wait.
  • The fridge where the host asks you if you’d like to pick your steak before seating you.
  • Cinnamon. Honey. Butter and fresh baked bread. I can eat baskets of them.
  • The 22oz beer is a great bang-for-your buck.
  • Salad comes complimentary with a steak supper – I go for the Caesar, every single time.
  • The Cowboy Cut steak is arguably the best cut of meat for the price at a chain restaurant
  • Their baked potato is perfection.
  • Nothing but top notch country music bangers on the jukebox
  • Amazing neon signs and roadhouse decor, usually from the community. Points for the wood paneling.
  • Lots of booths to sit in vs. tables. Props to a restaurant that has ample booths.
  • Excellent birthday party experience, complete with a line-dance from the staff.

I’m not ashamed to say I had my 33rd birthday dinner at a Texas Roadhouse in my hometown. Bunch of friends and family showed up to chow down on a Thursday night. 22oz beers flowed all night and I devoured a Ft. Worth Ribeye. It was a great night.

In fact, while I’m waxing nostalgically on how much I love the joint, here’s another tale. My girlfriend and I love Texas Roadhouse so much that we once drove 90 minutes from our house in Los Angeles to the nearest Texas Roadhouse in Victorville for Saturday night dinner – off the I-15, way out on the edge of the high desert. I brought YETI cooler just to put our leftovers in so they stayed cold for the drive home.

On the other side of these trying times, I can’t wait for a night out at a Texas Roadhouse again.

Long live Texas Roadhouse.

Brandon Wenerd avatar
BroBible's publisher and a founding partner, circa 2009. Brandon is based in Los Angeles, where he oversees BroBible's partnership team and other business development activities. He still loves to write and create content, including subjects related to internet culture, food, live music, Phish, the Grateful Dead, Philly sports, and adventures of all kinds. Email: brandon@brobible.com