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Remembering Kent Taylor

A look back at the leadership philosophy of Kent Taylor, the late Texas Roadhouse founder and CEO


With a cowboy hat for every occasion, Kent Taylor was known as a man who spoke his mind.

In 2014, he was named Operator of the Year — an honor then bestowed by readers of Nation’s Restaurant News to one of the Golden Chain Award winners each year. After accepting the award at the annual MUFSO conference, Taylor joined the other Golden Chain winners and Sarah Lockyer, now Informa Restaurant & Food Group publisher, on stage to talk about leadership, the entrepreneur perspective and “lettuce abuse.”

Taylor passed away last week.

In this video, now being republished to honor his legacy, Taylor tells the origin story of Texas Roadhouse, a concept he developed after “getting into trouble” at other restaurant companies — including Bennigan’s and KFC.“I figured I better work for myself or I’ll get fired a several more times, I guess,” he joked. “It finally worked out at Texas Roadhouse.”

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