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Kent Taylor, The CEO That Gave Up His Salary And Bonus To Pay Employees

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In the United States, businesses had to close to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Businesses like hospitals, pharmacies, and grocery stores can sell essential goods, but all companies with non-essential products are affected severely, with restaurants being one of them. 

Kent Taylor, founder, and Chief Executive Officer at the Texas Roadhouse, gave up his basic salary and bonus for the remainder of this year from 18 March 2020 until 7 January 2021 to ensure that the company’s employees have and income and are not without a job.

Texas Roadhouse chain has more than 500 restaurants across the United States of America. The 63 years old Mr. Taylor has more than 30 years’ experience in the restaurant industry and opened the first Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Clarksville, Indiana, in 1993. 

Kent Taylor, while living in Colorado, worked in restaurants and nightclubs until he returned to Louisville, his hometown, where he worked as a Kentucky Fried Chicken manager.  

He later opened Buckhead Hickory Grill, where he was his Executive Chef. The chain later became Buckhead Mountain Grill, and he sold his shares to focus on Texas Roadhouse. 

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Taylor is also an active supporter of several organizations, to mention, Kentucky Nature Conservancy, Special Olympics Kentucky, Habitat for Humanity, and School Choice.

Some accolades received by Mr. Taylor:-

  • A Member of the Kentucky Business Hall of Fame
  • Named as a Golden Chain Winner
  • 2014 Operator of the year by Nation’s Restaurant News
  • In 2012 Texas Roadhouse was named the Top Steakhouse 
  • Ranked one of the 200 Best Small Companies in 2007 and 2008
  • The company with “Best Value” as per readers and Consumer reports magazine

In 2014, Texas Roadhouse was named one of Employee’s Choice, Best Places to Work by Glassdoor, and debuted on Forbes magazine’s list of 100 Most Trustworthy Companies.

Since the opening of the Texas Roadhouse, the focus has been “Putting employees first.” With the core values, Passion, Partnership, Integrity, and Fun.

Mr. Taylor believes that if your team is happy, the guests will be happy, and they will brag about a fantastic experience. 

Texas Roadhouse is known as a one-kind-of-a workplace.

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Giving away his salary and bonus is not his first act of kindness. Another example is his donations to the internal, non-profit fund that helps employee’s in need, contributing to funerals, medical issues, and recovering after a natural disaster. 

A man with a big heart, Taylor has always given money without expecting anything back. He contributes because there are a passion and a need. 

A few other CEO’s are also taking pay cuts.

According to Business Insider, CEO Ed Bastian announced in a memo that he would be giving up 100% of his salary for six months.

CEO Oscar Munoz and President Scott Kirby of United Airlines reduced their salaries to zero until June.

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Marriott CEO and President Arne Sorenson said he would not take a salary for 2020, and his executive team would be taking a 50% pay cut.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and co-founders, Nathan Blecharczyk and Joe Gebbia, have also given up his salary for 2020 to avoid layoffs.

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