“Our community and the restaurant industry have lost a legend and the Taylor family lost a wonderful son, father and grandfather this week,” a joint statement from the Taylor family and Texas Roadhouse said on Saturday. at CNN.
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The statement said Taylor died by suicide after battling post-COVID-related symptoms, including severe tinnitus or ringing in the ears, and that his suffering has increased in recent days.
Taylor had funded a clinical study to help members of the military with tinnitus, the statement said.
“Kent leaves an unparalleled legacy as a People First Leader, which is why he has often said that Texas Roadhouse is a people business that just serves steaks,” the statement said.
“It has changed the lives of hundreds of millions of employees and customers over the past 28 years.”
Texas Roadhouse is based in Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer tweeted Thursday that the city had “lost a much loved and one-of-a-kind citizen.”
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“Kent’s kind and generous spirit was his constant driving force, whether it was quietly helping a friend or building one of America’s great businesses at @texasroadhouse,” Fisher wrote. “He was a maverick entrepreneur who embodied the values of never giving up and putting others first. My deepest condolences to Kent’s family and many, many friends.
Taylor gave up his salary from March 2020 to January 2021 and donated the funds to help frontline restaurant workers during the pandemic, CNN affiliate WAVE reported.
A message from the company on Facebook on Friday said: “We will miss you, Kent. Because of you and your dream of Texas Roadhouse, we can say that we (love) our jobs every day. The message used a heart-shaped emoji instead of the word love.
Taylor created the idea that would later become Texas Roadhouse on a cocktail napkin, according to the family statement.
Texas Roadhouse opened in 1993, according to the company’s website, and has more than 600 locations in the United States and 10 restaurants overseas. There are 15 locations in the North Texas area.
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