The year 2020 has been tough for the vast majority of people. Many have lost loved ones, their jobs, and their homes all in the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully there are people in the world like Texas Roadhouse’s Kent Taylor. The CEO gave away his salary this year to ensure the jobs of all of his employees.
CEO Gave Away His Salary to His Employees
Kent Taylor, founder and CEO of the restaurant chain Texas Roadhouse, knows what it’s like to struggle. Back in the 1990s when Texas Roadhouse was still young, Taylor was a single parent raising two girls. There were many times when he had to rely on his parents for financial support and even housing. (1)
When the coronavirus pandemic hit and many people were losing their jobs, Taylor wanted to ensure that his 70,000 employees would not be included in that statistic. First, he supplied every worker at each of his 600 restaurants with latex gloves, masks, and protective eyewear. Second, he created a stimulus package for all of his Texas Roadhouse employees. (1)
To financially support each of his employees, Taylor donated his entire salary and yearly bonus for 2020. That salary totals $800,000. So far Texas Roadhouse has not had to lay off or cut the salary of any of its employees. (1)
“It’s how I was raised. I did what I felt was right,” the 64-year-old CEO said.“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.” (1)
Making sure his employees are cared for has been a top priority for Taylor since the beginning. Eighteen years ago he set up an emergency fund called Andy’s Outreach to help employees when they are in need. It can be used for a variety of things, such as help with rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, and funeral expenses. (1)
The fund transitioned to one that employees themselves could donate a portion of their paycheck to, be it 10 cents to 10 dollars. It is not mandatory to donate to it, however many employees do. (1)
Taylor noticed that many of his workers were looking to the fund for assistance during the pandemic and as a result, the amount in the fund was getting lower and lower. To ensure that there would be money there for everyone, he donated $5 million of his own money to bolster it back up. (1)
“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,” he explains. “I relate it to my own personal family and I want to take care of my family, is how I look at it.” (1)
Taylor has since received hundreds of letters for employees thanking him for his generosity. Many of those letters brought him to tears. He hopes that his spreading kindness and generosity will encourage others to do the same in their own lives. (1)
“I want them to transfer the love we’re showing them to other people.” (1)
Let’s all take from his example and spread more light in these difficult times.