Cinnamon Butter Forever: Texas Roadhouse CEO Forgoes Six-Figure Salary To Pay Front-Line Workers

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W. Kent Taylor, CEO of Texas Roadhouse, will use his 2020 salary to pay Roadhouse employees whose jobs have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the SEC filing, this means Taylor’s salary and bonus from March 18, 2020, through January 7, 2021 “will be made available to assist front-line hourly restaurant employees.”

Taylor made $1.3 million in salary and bonuses in 2018, with his base salary set at $525,000. In 2017, he brought in $8.5 million.

Texas Roadhouse will also suspend its dividend “to better manage its cash position and enhance financial flexibility in light of the uncertainty in the global markets resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Taylor, 63, opened the first Texas Roadhouse in 1993 in Clarksville, Indiana. The chain of popular steakhouses is now over 500 locations strong and operates in 49 states, employing more than 56,000 workers.

COVID-19’s adverse impact on business has forced many companies to consider or initiate pay cuts for CEOs and top executives in order to offset untold economic destruction.

Itay Goldstein, professor of finance University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School told CNN Business, “When we come into a crisis like the one we have right now— where it’s a difficult time for the economy, for workers, people are losing their jobs, people don’t know what to expect— I think for CEOs to come out and say, ‘We are going to give up our pay,’ it’s a signal that they are sharing the pain.”

Airlines, including Delta, Alaska, and United Airlines have all announced executive pay cuts. Other companies like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ford, GE, and Lyft have followed suit.

Susan LaMarca

Written by Susan LaMarca