Texas Roadhouse founder and CEO W. Kent Taylor is committing to forgoing his base salary and bonus for the year in order to pay employees during the coronavirus pandemic, a spokesperson confirmed on Thursday.
A spokesperson for Taylor confirmed to the Hill that the CEO will, in fact, forgo his base salary and bonus from March 18, 2020, to January 7, 2021, as an effort to pay his employees as the coronavirus pandemic takes a hit on the economy, especially battering the restaurant industry.
Taylor’s base salary is roughly $525,000, as is his bonus.
“On a prorated basis, the forgone salary and bonus would be just under a $1 million donation to employees,” the spokesperson said.
“Kent Taylor has always said that Texas Roadhouse is a People-company that just happens to serve great steaks. His donation of his salary and bonus to help employees is the embodiment of that saying,” he added. “We are blessed to have his leadership.”
Additionally, Taylor has donated $5 million to Andy’s Outreach “which he described as charitable fund that help support the company’s employees during ‘times of need,'” according to the Hill.
While the Texas Roadhouse chain, which has over 460 locations in the United States, remains open for takeout, dine-in services have been halted.
“We are open for business and still serving America even though many of our dining rooms are temporarily closed,” Taylor said in a statement posted to the restaurant’s website.
“As the President and other officials have stated, restaurants play a vital role in our nation’s food supply, and we are going to help fill the gap where and how we can,” he said, adding that they are “ramping up our To-Go and Curbside services and we are also turning some of our parking lots into temporary drive-thrus to serve our regular menu.”
“The bottom line is these are challenging times, and we are all in this together. We will continue to do our best to adapt to your needs and help support every community we serve in a safe way,” he continued, adding that “local communities across America will be stronger on the other side of this crisis.”
The CEO’s decision comes as jobless claims in the United States soar, jumping to 3,283,000. The House is slated to pass an emergency relief package, which extends aid to small businesses and delivers cash payments directly to the American people, on Friday.