Texas businessman Kent Taylor, the co-founder and CEO of Texas Roadhouse Inc., has died from suicide after suffering “unbearable” COVID-19-related symptoms, his family said in a statement.
“Kent battled and fought hard like the former track champion that he was, but the suffering that greatly intensified in recent days became unbearable,” his family told McClatchy News. The family revealed to the news outlet that the business executive experienced “severe tinnitus” and other symptoms.
“We are saddened by the decision Kent felt he needed to make and want to emphasize more than ever the importance of reaching out for help if you or someone you love is suffering,” they added.
The restaurant chain, which operates more than 500 dining establishments in 49 states, also confirmed Taylor’s recent death in Facebook post.
“We will miss you, Kent. Because of you and your dream of Texas Roadhouse, we get to say we [love] our jobs every day,” the chain wrote in the post on Thursday.
The news comes almost a year after Taylor, who co-founded the chain that opened in 1993, made headlines for giving up his bonus and base salary to pay his chain’s workers during the coronavirus pandemic.