Here's The CEO Who Gave Away His Salary And Bonus Of $800K To Help Employees During The Pandemic

Jun 29, 2020 by apost team

The CEO of the Texas Roadhouse chain of restaurants, Kent Taylor, has donated his yearly salary and bonus—amounting to over $800,000—to help his employees amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Additionally, he donated $5 million to an emergency fund that helps employees of the restaurant chain afford things like rent and funeral costs. Read on to learn more about this inspiring story.

Having founded the popular restaurant chain in the early 1990s, Kent Taylor, whose company is based in Louisville, Kentucky, felt a sense of responsibility for his staff when the coronavirus pandemic hit the US in March. He immediately bought latex gloves, masks, and protective eyewear for staff in the nearly 600 Texas Roadhouse restaurants he owns.

He also donated his salary and yearly bonus of over $800,000 towards creating a kind of stimulus package specifically for the workers of Texas Roadhouse. Speaking with People Magazine, Kent explained:

"It's how I was raised. I did what I felt was right. This is that kind of time where you have to persist and think differently and take care of those that are with you and lift everyone's spirits and march forward."

Impressively, thanks to Kent's contributions, Texas Roadhouse hasn't had to lay off any staff amid the pandemic, despite the fact that business has slowed down.

Not only that, but 18 years ago Kent had set up an emergency fund for his staff called Andy's Outreach, which was created to help employees with expenses like rent and mortgage payments, utility bills, funeral expenses, and medical costs. He told People in the same interview how the initiative had come about: 

"We were doing that to take care of our people that might have a loved one die that needed money for a funeral or an operation. It would transition to where people gave part of their paycheck, whether 10 cents [or] $10, to help our people during times of need."

After noticing that the current crisis had meant that many employees were looking to the fund for assistance, which was quickly depleting in funds, Kent decided to donate $5 million of his own money to give it a major boost. His warmth and kind heart are just what we all need right now. He explained his motivations to People:

"I'm 64-years-old and I call people under 55 kids. So I have 70,000 kids, and you want to take care of them. I relate it to my own personal family and I want to take care of my family, is how I look at it."

Although Kent is doing very well for himself now, it wasn't always the case. Back in the early days of setting up Texas Roadhouse, he was a single parent to two daughters, and experienced his fair share of struggle, even leaning on his parents for financial assistance and occasionally housing. It's this experience that molded his desire to help others who are in need. He stated to People:

"When you're down and out, that sticks in your head. A lot of people think when you make it later in life it leaves, but it stays in your brain. Later in life you want to give back in the same way."

Kent has received hundreds of thank you letters from his staff, including some that have made him shed a tear. In the end, he explains his hope is that the generosity he's given to his staff will be passed on by them to others in need. He stated, "I want them to transfer the love we're showing them to other people."

What did you think of Kent Taylor's incredible story supporting his Texas Roadhouse family? Let us know down below, and be sure to leave any similar uplifting stories you've experienced as well. Then pass this heartwarming story on to others to give them hope.