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Made From Scratch

The Legendary Success Story of Texas Roadhouse



About The Book

* An Instant Wall Street Journal Bestseller *

From founder Kent Taylor, the incredible made-from-scratch success story of Texas Roadhouse.

In Made From Scratch, the late business maverick Kent Taylor tells the legendary story of Texas Roadhouse and in the process reveals its recipe for success: embracing unorthodox business practices. Because isn’t it a little unusual for a company to do almost no advertising? Is it wild to give away free peanuts and rolls and keep prices low, even as costs rise, or to keep the menu basically the same since it opened? Does it fly in the face of reason to prohibit coats and ties at headquarters and to have a CEO who dressed like he was part of the landscaping crew?

These business practices might be unconventional, but for Kent and Texas Roadhouse, they worked. What Kent and his Roadies cooked up is an island of misfits who are cool with being different. They love to have fun, but are serious about following meticulous recipes to serve up hand-cut steaks, fall-off-the-bone ribs, made-from-scratch sides, ice-cold beer, and irresistible fresh-baked bread. It’s Legendary Food, Legendary Service, the Texas Roadhouse way.

To show how this company became a staple of American dining and survived a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, Kent took a trip back in time to offer the lessons learned from his pathbreaking life, revealing how a distracted kid from Louisville, Kentucky, created anything worthwhile at all.


Chapter 1: Born to Run

  • There’s a perception that we can’t do much about our weaknesses in life, so we should focus only on our strengths. That’s BS. We can often get better at something if we love it and are willing to put in the work (running, in my case). In some cases, we can even become outstanding. Weaknesses can become our strengths.
  • Find yourself a good coach who will give you honest feedback. Tiger Woods has a coach, Serena Williams has a coach. If every great athlete has a coach, shouldn’t every great salesperson/businessperson/etc. have someone who will give it to them straight on how they can get better and what they can do to push themselves?
  • If you outwork the other guys, you’ll get where you want to go. Pain is not necessarily your enemy; it teaches you a lot about yourself and what you are capable of.
  • Never underestimate the power of a simple but symbolic motivator (even a cheap T-shirt).
  • If your team needs you, then show up (I had the flu at the state meet, but my team was counting on me).
  • Positive reinforcement inspires much greater performance than fear ever can. Great leaders show their people a better way, i.e., what they can achieve if they strive for greatness.

About The Author

Courtesy of Texas Roadhouse

Kent Taylor (1955–2021) was the founder, CEO, and chairman of the board of Texas Roadhouse restaurants. Taylor opened the first Texas Roadhouse in Clarksville, Indiana, in 1993. The Louisville-based company has grown to more than six hundred locations in forty-nine states with revenues of $2.8 billion. The company currently operates in ten foreign countries. A Louisville native, Taylor attended the University of North Carolina on a track scholarship where he earned a bachelor of science degree. Taylor was an active supporter of a number of organizations, including Homes for Our Troops, Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics Kentucky, and the Kentucky Nature Conservancy. One hundred percent of the profits from this book will be donated to the Texas Roadhouse employee assistance fund, called Andy’s Outreach.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (August 24, 2021)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982185701

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Raves and Reviews

"Every once in a while, you meet someone over a beer or a meal who is so full of wonderful stories and great wisdom that you just want to stay there until closing time drinking in everything that person has to share. For me, Kent Taylor was that guy, and now that experience exists in book form. Made From Scratch is more than a tribute to a fine human being, it’s an education: an MBA, a PhD in psychology, and a brilliant course in non-fiction writing all rolled into one. Made From Scratch is positive proof that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life."—Jim Koch, Brewer & Founder of The Boston Beer Company, Brewers of Samuel Adams Boston Lager

“An inspiration to all who have had a dream. These pages tell the moving, funny, and instructional story of Kent Taylor, who built one of the world’s most powerful restaurant brands by putting his people first. Not only is the story a rollicking read, but you will be moved and inspired to do something legendary yourself.”— Marshall Goldsmith, Thinkers50 #1 Leadership Thinker in the World and New York Times bestselling author

“An incredible story about an inspiring and humble leader.’” Darcy Verhun, President at FYidoctors

A delightful, in-the-trenches read by an iconic entrepreneur. Kent Taylor is a textbook disruptor! Whitney Johnson, Bestselling author of Disrupt Yourself and LinkedIn 2020 Top Voice

“Legendary Service, Legendary Food. These aren’t just words at Texas Roadhouse, they are the driving force that has made this company the envy of the restaurant and business world! Kent Taylor set the standard for Legendary in everything he built. In this amazing book, he shows how you can do it too!” — Garry Ridge, Chairman & CEO, WD-40 Company

"Kent Taylor's story is about a compelling vision of service and a comprehensive strategy and relentless implementation plan to deliver it with a high performance team and culture that includes all the stakeholders. Leadership counts and lessons for us all!"—Alan Mulally, former CEO Ford Motor Company

Made From Scratch is the story of how a leader can build a culture that is truly legendary. Kent Taylor shares all his failures and successes, and in turn shows how to create workplaces where people are empowered, encouraged, and rewarded for delivering exceptional service. The Roadies at Texas Roadhouse are proof that it works!”—Dr. Tasha Eurich, Organizational Psychologist & New York Times bestselling author of Insight and Bankable Leadership

“Anyone interested in leadership or entrepreneurship really should check it out.”— Business First Louisville

"[Made From Scratch] is the blueprint Taylor left behind. . . . There are stories and measures of Taylor that can’t be replicated." FSR Magazine

"This is the story of a business run unconventionally, written by the guy who did it first. Part memoir, part business tale, this book also includes some helpful hints that anyone can use." The Tennessee Ledger

"With top recommendations from leaders I admire, including Marshall Goldsmith, this practical and often irreverent, contrarian, and hilarious book is worth your time." —John Pearson, Your Weekly Staff Meeting

"This book will teach you everything you need to know about leadership . . . MADE FROM SCRATCH gives readers confidence that embracing nonconformity can transform their dreams into their reality." Life with Heidi

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