Texas Roadhouse CEO giving up his salary and bonus to pay workers during coronavirus outbreak

There are so many things we're missing in this coronavirus pandemic. First dates, family reunions, heck even the mundane routine of heading into the office. Times of crisis change the world and as we're learning in real time, often reveal a lot about people's true nature.

The sad and disappointing stories continue to dominate the headlines and that's understandable when there's so much bad news going around the world right now and right here at home. But there are stories of selfless and inspiring behavior happening every day. And sometimes they come from a delicious steakhouse chain.


Texas Roadhouse CEO Kent Taylor announced on Thursday that he is forgoing the rest of his 2020 salary and bonus and instead directing the funds toward paying his employees during the coronavirus outbreak. The remaining salary and bonus both amount to $525,000 each for a total of $1,050,000.

"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," a Texas Roadhouse spokesperson told The Hill. "We are blessed to have his leadership."

The spokesperson also told The Hill that Taylor has already donated $5 million of his personal funds to Andy's Outreach, a non-profit run by Texas Roadhouse to help employees in times of need.

Taylor's charitable move has been earning his all kinds of praise online. As one commenter on Reddit put it:

"I've always loved the Texas Roadhouse for steaks, now I love them for more than just that. Kent you're a hero, thank you!"


Photo by Enrique Macias on images.unsplash.com


Like so many of America's restaurants, Texas Roadhouse is staying open during the coronavirus, trying to find a way to make things work while also providing a valuable service to people who need food, can't get to grocery stores or simply need a break with some comfort food delivered to their front door. The 500 store chain is offering delivery and curbside service. However, as with most restaurants nationwide, there's little doubt that the demand for delivery and takeout is keeping pace with the normal amount of business done when the restaurant is fully open for business. Still, whatever income that is coming in makes a world of difference for companies like Texas Roadhouse, and more importantly, for the people they are able to keep on their payrolls.

"We are open for business and still serving America even though many of our dining rooms are temporarily closed," Taylor said in statement pinned to the top of his company'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."

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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.