Popular Steakhouse Chain Shows Appreciation to Truckers and it’s Going Viral
Louisville, KY – Popular restaurant chain, Texas Roadhouse, is going above and beyond to welcome and accommodate truckers in the quest to find good food amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The Louisville, KY-based steakhouse chain made waves in the trucking industry earlier this week as multiple truckers took to social media to share their positive encounters with the restaurant.
“Our core values are passion, partnership, integrity and fun with purpose,” Melissa Torres, managing partner of Texas Roadhouse in Sanford, FL, told Transportation Nation Network (TNN) in an exclusive interview.
Torres’s restaurant — which is located on Route 46 near Interstate 4 — went viral on Sunday when trucker Daniel Lewis posted a photo of his receipt from Texas Roadhouse, showing a 100% discount on his meal.
The discount on the receipt was accompanied by a VIP code called “roadie.”
Torres told TNN the staff at Texas Roadhouse noticed Lewis’s big rig parked in a nearby parking lot.
“Our parking lots aren’t always designed for 18 wheelers to be cruising through,” Torres admitted, but she noted most would not have problems, especially as empty as the lots are these days.
Figuring the trucker might be hungry, Torres said members from her team went out and asked if he would like something to eat.
Torres said her team “wanted to do something nice for [the driver] since a lot of truckers are working long hours to keep this country rolling.”
In his post, Lewis said the Texas Roadhouse team walked across the parking lot to take his order and surprised him a short time later with a completely free dinner.
“America helping Americans!” Lewis exclaimed of his positive encounter at the Sanford, FL location.
Torres told TNN it was a no-brainer for her team to do what they can to help truckers like Lewis and they will continue to do so.
“As a company, we tend to do things like this in situations where the community really needs us. It’s part of our culture and who we are,” she proudly stated.
And that company culture Torres spoke of is what led trucker Shawn Cielke to stop at a Texas Roadhouse on a run from Washington state to deliver a load of apples in Houston, TX.
After a negative experience at a fast food restaurant, Cielke told TNN he was craving a good meal and not “truck stop food.”
Despite his tight schedule trying to get fueled up in Amarillo, TX, and back on the road, he recalled hearing how accommodating Texas Roadhouse restaurants were being to truckers.
So, he called ahead to place an order.
“They treated me like a king!” Cielke said.
He pointed out they took his order over the phone and even offered him unsolicited tips for navigating his loaded tractor-trailer into the parking lot.
Cielke said his porterhouse steak, baked potato and signature rolls tasted as good on the road as it does in the restaurant.
Another truck driver singing the steakhouse chain’s praises is the founder of the grassroots trucker advocacy group, TruckerNation.
Tony Justice found himself in Denham Springs, LA, on Monday and, like Cielke, recalled some posts he had seen online about the steakhouse welcoming truckers.
He decided to stop at the location off of I-12 at exit 12.
Justice live-streamed the encounter where two employees expressed their gratitude to truckers for working around the clock to deliver goods and supplies. (WATCH video at the bottom)
Back in Sanford, FL, Torres said she is proud of her company and trusts locations across the country will continue to step up, especially for truckers, during this time.
“This isn’t just what we do,” she said. “Taking care of our community and the truckers… it’s who we are.”
CEO Donates $1 Million Salary to Employees
Texas Roadhouse was founded in 1993 by W. Kent Taylor.
The chain operates over 500 restaurants in 49 states.
Taylor, who still serves as the company’s chief executive officer, made national news headlines on Thursday when he announced he would be donating his approximately $1 million annual salary and bonuses to help pay employees during the coronavirus pandemic.
Featured image courtesy Shawn Cielke