Texas Roadhouse founder and CEO Kent Taylor has pledged to give up his base salary and any bonuses for the rest of 2020 in order to help pay the restaurant chain’s employees during the coronavirus crisis.
Since lockdown measures across the United States have become ever stricter, the restaurant industry has been particularly hard hit.
Some have tried to remain open by operating as take-away outlets. But the reality is that there has been a massive layoff of staff.
According to a report, the restaurant industry is the second largest private employer in the U.S, with 15.6 million workers.
While government bailouts and unemployment schemes may help alleviate some of the suffering, those measures may take time to implement and will probably still fall short.
It’s therefore going to need more sacrifices such as this one from Taylor to help pull employees through this unprecedented crisis.
Taylor has agreed to give up his base salary and bonuses effective from 18 March 2020 until January 7 2021.
He hopes that this will help to pay front-line workers and bring down the number of layoffs.
In addition to Taylor’s personal sacrifice, the Texas Roadhouse board of directors have also voted to suspend payments of quarterly cash dividends of the business’ stock.
To further add to the cash flow available to pay workers, the Texas Roadhouse has drawn $190 million from its revolving credit and now has over $300 million.
According to the Bizjournals website, Taylor’s annual salary in 2018 was $525,000. He was awarded a stock payout of $7.3 million in 2017, but none in 2018.
The CEO opened the inaugural Texas Roadhouse in 1993 in Clarksville, Indiana. The business now has over 500 restaurants in 49 states and ten countries.
Other restaurants are also stepping up
In another similar case, Yum Brands CEO David Gibbs has also forfeited his salary for the rest of the year. Yum Brands owns Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut.
The Darden group, which controls Longhorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden, Cheddar’s, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, The Capital Grille and Yard House, also has an emergency program in place.
Photo credit: Krista