Kent Taylor was the founder and CEO of Texas Roadhouse, the popular steakhouse chain known for free buckets of peanuts at each table.
- Died: March 18, 2021 (Who else died on March 18?)
- Details of death: Died by suicide on his property near Louisville, Kentucky at the age of 65.
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If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide, he or she should not be left alone. Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. The Lifeline provides free, confidential support for people in crisis or emotional distress, 24/7 year-round. The Lifeline also offers an online chat for people who prefer to reach out online rather than by phone.
Creating a nationwide favorite
Taylor was managing a Hooters restaurant when he began dreaming of starting a restaurant chain – but his original vision was of a Colorado-themed restaurant. He tinkered with his concept and in 1993 opened the first Texas Roadhouse in Clarksville, Indiana. The chain’s expansion was slow at first; three of its first five locations failed. But by the late 1990s, Texas Roadhouse took off, and Taylor eventually built it into a chain of more than 600 locations across 49 states. He remained actively involved in the business until his death, making decisions on the menu and choosing songs for the restaurants’ jukeboxes. In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic severely affected restaurants, Taylor gave up his salary to help the chain’s frontline restaurant workers.
Tributes to Kent Taylor
Full obituary: Courier Journal