Kent Taylor, the proudly nonconformist founder and longtime leader of the Texas Roadhouse casual-dining chain, has died.
Roadhouse posted a message on its website announcing Taylor’s passing on Thursday. It did not say how Taylor died. No age was given, by securities filings indicate that Taylor was 64 or 65.
The board expressed its sadness at the loss of Taylor, whom it described as “a people-first leader.”
“During the pandemic, he gave up his entire compensation package to help support his frontline workers,” Greg Moore, lead director of Roadhouse’s board, said in a statement. “This selfless act was no surprise to anyone who knew Kent and his strong belief in servant leadership.”
Taylor launched Roadhouse in 1993. He’d brainstormed the concept while bartending at a TGI Friday’s.
Many of the early units weren’t successful. Taylor pushed on, growing the chain to 630 restaurants in 49 states.