On Wednesday, Louisville, Kentucky-based steak chain Texas Roadhouse (TXRH) announced that its founder and CEO Kent Taylor died.

In a statement, Greg Moore, lead director of the restaurant said of Taylor’s death, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Kent Taylor. He founded Texas Roadhouse and dedicated himself to building it into a legendary experience for 'Roadies' and restaurant guests alike.

“During the pandemic, he gave up his entire compensation package to help support his frontline workers. This selfless act was no surprise to anyone who knew Kent and his strong belief in servant leadership. He was without a doubt, a people-first leader. His entrepreneurial spirit will live on in the company he built, the projects he supported and the lives he touched.”

Moore’s comments were proof of the selflessness of Taylor, who started the Texas Roadhouse chain in 1993, growing the casual dining concept into over 630 restaurants in 49 states and 10 countries, according to its website.

Taylor, 65, opened his first Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Clarksville, Indiana, in 1993. At the time, he had a clear vision: “Create an affordable Texas-style restaurant with hand-cut steaks, fall-off-the-bone ribs, and ice-cold beer.”

But the road to success wouldn’t always be easy for Taylor. He pitched his idea to anyone that would listen to him and was turned down more than 80 times by investors before he landed a $300,000 deal with three Elizabethtown, Kentucky, doctors for startup capital.

The idea for Texas Roadhouse was carved out on a cocktail napkin with a plan to open 10 restaurants in 10 years. But challenges were abounding for Taylor after three of the first five locations failed.

Taylor didn’t give up and learned from his mistakes, vowing not to repeat them. He revamped the menu, improved recipes, updated the restaurant décor, and retrained staff. The results helped to redefine the Texas Roadhouse to continue it on its path and developed it into the successful brand it is today.

The company reported revenues of $2.4 billion in 2020, according to its last earnings report, with Taylor taking home a salary of $525,000 - compensation, in addition to his bonuses, he would give up to help his employees from March 2020 through January 2021 during the COVID pandemic as restaurants were closed and sales were down, USA Today reported.

Louisville, Kentucky, Mayor Greg Fisher attested to the character of Taylor, saying in a tweet on Wednesday, “He was a maverick entrepreneur who embodied the values of never giving up and putting others first.”

Taylor, who had a reported net worth of $600 million at the time of his death, according to The Sun, is survived by two daughters, a son, and four grandchildren.

Taylor’s cause of death was not released.

Shares of Texas Roadhouse were trading at $93.63 as of premarket hours, down $2.54 or 2.54%.

Texas Roadhouse The entrance to a Texas Roadhouse restaurant is pictured on May 11, 2018 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Photo: George Rose/Getty Images