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Texas Roadhouse founder loved taking care of his employees first

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kent Taylor liked to say he was a failure.  

His plan for a Florida salad company wilted. Ditto for a seafood concept that never got off the beach. 

And when he finally persuaded three Kentucky doctors to invest in Texas Roadhouse — after 80 other investors turned him down — three of his first five restaurants failed, and he had had to close their doors. 

“I think you have a better, more open mind when you fail,” Taylor once said. 

He eventually succeeded, and then some. 

Before he died by suicide Thursday, racked by post-COVID 19 symptoms his family said became unbearable, Taylor, 65, had built his casual dining chain into a goliath of more than 600 restaurants in 49 states and seven countries worth more than $6 billion. 

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