Good Neighbors

The CEO With A Heart Of Gold! Wait Until You Hear What He Did To Take Care Of His Employees

When he heard that some of his workers were struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic, he didn't hesitate to empty his own pockets to help out.

Over the last five months or so, the coronavirus pandemic has brought out the best (and sometimes the worst!) in people. At Sparkt, we like to focus on the positive, so we'll stick to highlighting those who are stepping up to help others during the crisis.

Kent Taylor definitely falls into the do-gooder category. Taylor is the CEO of Texas Roadhouse restaurants, and when the pandemic hit he jumped into action to make sure his employees were taken care of.

Not only did Taylor purchase latex gloves, protective eyewear and masks for the workers at all 600 of his restaurants, but he decided to donate his annual salary and bonus – an amount totaling more than $800,000 – to the company, so that nobody had to take a pay cut or get laid off.

CEO Kent Taylor started an emergency fund for his workers to help them get through tough times. Texas Roadhouse

"It's how I was raised. I did what I felt was right," Taylor, 64, told People. "This is that kind of time where you have to persist and think differently and take care of those that are with you and lift everyone's spirits and march forward."

In addition to donating his salary, Taylor contributed another $5 million to an emergency fund called 'Andy's Outreach,' which he established for his employees 18 years ago to help with things like rent and utility payments when times got tough.

"We were doing that to take care of our people that might have a loved one die that needed money for a funeral or an operation," Taylor said. "It would transition to where people gave part of their paycheck, whether 10 cents of $10, to help our people during times of need."

Taylor has contributed over $5 million to help his staff during the coronavirus pandemic. Texas Roadhouse

When he saw that the fund was quickly becoming depleted because of the pandemic, he pitched in $5 million to keep it going.

While you wouldn't know it now, Taylor struggled with money when he first started the Texas Roadhouse chain in the early 1990's. He was a single parent during that time and stayed with his parents because he couldn't afford rent.

"When you're down and out, that sticks in your head," he said. "A lot of people think when you make it later in life it leaves, but it stays in your brain. Later in life you want to give back in the same way."

Texas Roadhouse

Taylor has gotten a lot of praise for his efforts to help his staff, and he's received hundreds of thank you letters over the years from those whose lives he touched with his generosity – some of which, he says, still make him emotional when he reads them.

He hopes that by doing right by others for all these years, his employees will want to do the same.

"I want them to transfer the love we're showing them to other people," he said.

What an incredible act of kindness! We're sure the Roadhouse employees will never forget Taylor's generosity.

How can you start something good?

While you likely don't have the means to donate your annual salary, you can help those in need in smaller ways. Consider donating to your local food bank, or donate what you can to those who are facing evictions due to the pandemic.

We can all do our part to help those who need it most during the crisis. Even if it's just a small amount!

Let's #StartSomethingGood together!

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