The casual chain is bracing for more COVID-19 impact.

Texas Roadhouse CEO Kent Taylor has elected to forgo his base salary and incentive bonus, the steakhouse chain revealed Wednesday in a securities filing. The move is effective from the pay period beginning March 18 and continuing through January 7.

Texas Roadhouse said the additional funds would be made available to assist front-line hourly restaurant employees.


Additionally, the chain’s board of directors voted Tuesday to suspend the payment of quarterly cash dividends of the company’s common stock, effective with respect to dividends occurring after March 27, “to better manage its cash position and enhance financial flexibility in light of the uncertainty in the global markets resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.”

READ MORE: Casual-dining chains bolster cash reserves to survive pandemic

According to Louisville Business First, Taylor’s compensation was $1.3 million in 2018, down from $8.5 million in 2017. His base salary was $525,000. He received stock awards of $7.3 million in 2017 and none in 2018. Additionally, a non-equity incentives compensation plan (or a bonus) paid Taylor $829,316 in 2018, which rose from $710,230 in 2017.

Taylor started the business in 1993 with the opening of the first Texas Roadhouse in Clarksville, Indiana. The company has since grown to 611 restaurants in 49 states and 10 foreign countries.

Of those, 514 are company run. (Here’s a look at how Texas Roadhouse built one of the world’s best restaurant chains).

Earlier, Texas Roadhouse said it expanded its carryout option for corporate stores to curbside service. The brand, as of March 19, hadn’t closed any of its U.S. locations, and each were operating on a full, limited, or to-go basis.

The brand drew down $190 million from its revolving credit facility to boost its cash reserve to more than $300 million. 

Taylor joins Darden’s CEO as casual-dining leaders forfeiting their salaries during the COVID-19 crisis. The Olive Garden parent shut down all dining rooms Saturday as sales plummeted 60 percent the previous week.

Texas Roadhouse’s same-store sales bumped 4.4 percent at corporate units in Q4. The comp comprised of 1.5 percent higher traffic and a 2.9 percent uptick in average check. 

Casual Dining, Chain Restaurants, Feature, Texas Roadhouse