Texas Roadhouse is one of those places that has a universal appeal. There's a little something for everyone on the menu, and the atmosphere is such that it allows you to relax and let your hair down. With that said, we're certain there are things about the restaurant you don't know -- and who better to fill you in on the details than the employees themselves?
In this post, we've scoured the internet for information that Texas Roadhouse insiders want you to know. On the surface, the company is a typical chain-style restaurant, but we were surprised to find out quite a few unique facts about the place that we're sure will strike your interest. In addition to facts about the food, we'll also explore patron-to-server relationships, restaurant decor, and much more.
Join us as we dig into the interesting details we believe the chain's employees want you to know about your local Texas Roadhouse.
No Two Restaurants Look Alike
Ever notice that no two Texas Roadhouse establishments look alike? There's a reason for that. Believe it or not, every Texas Roadhouse is constructed to reflect the community in which the restaurant is built. Thus, you'll find decorations unique to your Texas Roadhouse that you aren't likely to find anywhere else.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, while most of the murals are unique and local, there is at least one mural you'll notice that may be the same at every location of the restaurant. A Texas Roadhouse-affiliated artist always composes one of the murals in each outpost of the chain. This mural serves as an ode to Native American culture and often features an older Native American. There is also a corner decorated in honor of a very specific celebrity, but we won't go too deep into the details of this right now. Don't worry — there'll be more on that later.
Everything Is Made From Scratch
If we told you everything — yes, everything — at Texas Roadhouse is made from scratch, would you believe us? Actually, it's true. The company makes everything in-house, so you can expect each item you order to taste as fresh as possible. While other steakhouses may at least claim the rolls are made from scratch, Texas Roadhouse takes it one step further. Not only does the chain cook entrees fresh, but it even makes its own croutons, bacon bits, and dressings.
By the way, the "bacon bits" at Texas Roadhouse are actually delicious chunks of chopped bacon. So when you're ordering a salad with bacon bits, you shouldn't think you're getting those additive-filled hard pieces that you sprinkle out of a plastic can. Instead, expect your loaded potato, green beans, potato skins, and salads to get peppered with the real stuff.
As for those freshly-made dressings, expect Texas Roadhouse to dish up ranch, honey mustard, bleu cheese, Italian, French, Caesar, and more. There's plenty of variety, so you should have no problem topping your salad with something delish.
Every Restaurant Has Its One Butcher And Baker
Not only does Texas Roadhouse have house-made dressings and entrees, but it also employs its own butchers and bakers. Every Texas Roadhouse store has its own meat cutter and roll maker, and each of these employees is equipped with their own special task.
In terms of butchering, the meat cutter will complete their task in a 34-degree cooler where every steak is hand-cut. The butcher will cut around $1 million worth of meat per year, including your tender and savory ribeye, sirloin, and filet steaks.
As for the baker, know that the person working this position is responsible for making those hot and delicious yeast rolls you can't wait to get your hands on as soon as your butt hits the seat. You may not believe it, but these freshly-made rolls are cooked up every five minutes, so they're ultra-fresh and ready to be slathered in all that yummy cinnamon butter goodness at all times.
Limited Hours Serve A Purpose
As popular as Texas Roadhouse has become, you may find yourself a little disappointed if you plan to frequent the joint earlier in the day. Many of us like sampling lighter options for lunch, and since Texas Roadhouse offers several tasty salads and appetizers, it stings a little to know the restaurant doesn't typically open earlier in the day.
According to the website, Texas Roadhouse does actually open for lunch, but only on the weekends. Otherwise, this popular restaurant should be viewed as a dinner-only concept, meaning that it only serves guests dinner-style entrees during the majority of the week.
The reason for this? Texas Roadhouse believes strongly in the value of its team. By allowing managers the beginning of the day off, the hope is that the schedule will contribute to a better work-life balance. In addition, Texas Roadhouse stands to benefit from this setup, as opening its doors only during busier hours enables the restaurant to plant itself where it wants, rather than depending on high-traffic areas with a big lunch rush to generate its income.
That Willie Nelson Tribute Isn't For No Reason
Remember those murals we were telling you about earlier? While Texas Roadhouse is known for splashing its already energetic environment with trinkets and decorations that reflect the culture and community in which it was built, there's one thing that remains the same. Outside of the mural dedicated to Native American culture, you may also see another familiar addition to each Texas Roadhouse location: a corner specifically dedicated to Willie Nelson.
While you may think that the owner of the company simply had some sort of infatuation with the well-known guitarist, the truth is that Willie and the late Kent Taylor had an established relationship that went way back. The two actually met at a charity event, and before they knew it, a friendship was born. Since then, there's been a section dedicated to Willie Nelson in every restaurant. There are also rumors that Willie Nelson has since partnered with Texas Roadhouse and may even have a restaurant that he personally owns in Austin, Texas.
Full-Time Roadies Earn Tuition Assistance
If you're looking to become a "Roadie" (the in-house term for employee) any time soon, you should know that Texas Roadhouse tends to offer really great benefits. Employees who work 30 or more hours a week stand to earn tuition assistance, which, apparently, can total up to over $5,000 when certain parameters are met. According to Texas Roadhouse, an employee can be eligible for tuition reimbursement (and other benefits) after working a full year at the restaurant. The tuition money is a great deal for employees, especially given that restaurant staff can often be made up of college students.
In addition to tuition reimbursement, employees can expect to take advantage of flexible schedules, paid vacation, identity theft programs, annual holiday bonuses, medical, dental, and vision insurance, and even weekly pay. With this in mind, it's easy to see why many servers consider Texas Roadhouse a pretty darn decent place to work. The restaurant seems to really care about its employees -- we dig it!
Customer Service Is Highly Prioritized
Superior customer service is, presumably, something most businesses always aspire to achieve. But when it comes to Texas Roadhouse, customer service is especially important. A job posting for a host position at one location lays out what is expected of staff working at Texas Roadhouse, including putting forth every effort to greet and assist guests, quoting times for tables accurately, going above and beyond for guests who may have never been to the establishment, and even working to show every customer why Texas Roadhouse is indeed the "friendliest place in town." That's a lot to keep track of!
In addition, hosts and hostesses are specifically encouraged to tell guests about Texas Roadhouse's "legendary" story. Although we're not sure we've had the pleasure of experiencing this part of the Texas Roadhouse greeting, we're also sure that telling the restaurant's story to "every guest" gets tiring after a while. Either way, know that customer service at Texas Roadhouse is a top priority; hopefully, your experience matches the claims of the company whenever you find yourself frequenting your nearest location.
Your Server Probably Hates The Birthday Chant As Much As You Do
At Texas Roadhouse, birthdays are seen as an occasion to hoot, holler, and scream, much to the embarrassment of the birthday guest. What you might not know, however, is that your server is just as annoyed by the process as you are -- if not more so.
Here's the deal. When it's time for that all-too-familiar "YEEHAW!" birthday ritual, your server first has to stroll around the kitchen rounding up people who will do the birthday yell with them. As busy as the establishment can get (and as taxing as the birthday announcement can be), many staff members may go scattering once birthday time comes.
Oh, but it doesn't stop there. Once your server has successfully gathered whoever is brave enough to participate, they'll need to put the customer on a birthday saddle, belt out the whole birthday spiel to the entire restaurant, and conclude it with a big old Texas "Yeehaw!" to wrap it all up. Yes, your server is happy it's your birthday, and no, they don't hate you. But it's important to realize that just because your server seems enthusiastic about the task, chances are they are just as embarrassed to have to belt out that birthday chant as you are to hear it.
Texas Roadhouse's Seafood Is Better Than You'd Think
Not many people enter a Texas Roadhouse restaurant looking for seafood, but, according to employees, the seafood is well worth sampling and might be the dark-horse candidate for the best thing on the menu. You'll find several seafood options on the Texas Roadhouse menu, from salmon salads to full-blown entrees. However, there are a few that stand out among the crowd, according to people who used to work there.
For example, some Texas Roadhouse locations feature deep-fried catfish. One former staff member on Reddit claims to never have really liked catfish much, but when she tried the catfish at Texas Roadhouse, her mind quickly changed. The catfish is delish, and the tartar sauce (made in-house, mind you) is incredible.
Not only this, but other workers have attested that the salmon is equally delicious and well-deserving of your hard-earned cash. Thus, if you don't have a particular hankering for steak, it seems that sampling the seafood may prove quite beneficial. You might just walk away surprised.
The Ribs Aren't Called Fall-Off-The-Bone For No Reason
We know: When it comes to ordering ribs from a roadhouse-style steakhouse, the chances that you're going to get ribs as delicious as your local BBQ joint are slim to none. Still, though we're sure there are some places out there that could easily rival Texas Roadhouse ribs, we must say that this chain restaurant has its rib game down pat.
From what we can tell, there's a bit of back and forth concerning the process by which Texas Roadhouse actually cooks the ribs, but most employees on Reddit tend to agree that they're cooked low and slow before they are finished off on the grill. They are then slathered in Texas Roadhouse's own BBQ sauce before being served up alongside all your favorite Texas-inspired sides.
And in case you're wondering which Texas Roadhouse sides pair well with the ribs, allow us to recommend the bacon-infused green beans, loaded baked potatoes, or, heck, even the steak fries.
Every Employee Will Have Their Favorite Dish
Servers usually do have a meal or two from the restaurant they work at that tends to be their go-to, and Texas Roadhouse employees tend to be die-hard enthusiasts of the food. Interestingly, this truth not only applies to the steaks served at Texas Roadhouse but to plenty of foods outside of steak, as well.
Case in point: we've noticed several employees getting worked up over an entree known as Herb Crusted Chicken. Apparently, this herb-doused chicken breast is nothing short of amazing, despite it being a seemingly plain old chicken dinner. Other winning meals include the Dallas Filet (best enjoyed medium-rare for the most tender and flavorful experience), the ribeye (which is perfectly marbled and flavorful), and even the burgers.
And though this may sound crazy, there are employees out there who recommend you give Texas Roadhouse salads a go. On this point, we totally agree as we, too, have experienced the powerful flavor combination of in-house croutons served with made-from-scratch dressing to create delicious salads filled with crisp lettuce and yummy thick cheese shreds.
Peanuts All Over The Floor Is No Longer A Thing
If you've loved Texas Roadhouse for quite some time, you likely remember when the floor was once littered with peanut shells. For some of you, those times probably feel as recent as yesterday, and now it may seem quite baffling to walk into a Texas Roadhouse and actually be able to see the floor.
So, what happened? From what it seems, Texas Roadhouse has stopped the practice, but as for the reasons why, we aren't exactly sure. We've seen headlines about customers slipping on nutshells and have seen some people speculate that this might be one of the reasons the chain stopped featuring the free snack. Other rumored reasons include problems with guests who might have an allergic reaction to them.
Either way, you should know that if you really want peanuts from Texas Roadhouse, all you have to do is ask, according to a poster on Yelp. Some locations may still offer them; however, you'll need to get your server to grab them for you if you've got that hankering.
The Cactus Blossom Is A Truly Massive Appetizer
Are you considering ordering the onion-y delicious Cactus Blossom? If so, be sure to bring your appetite. This monster of an appetizer is nothing to scoff at and probably won't be finished by a single person -- unless you order it as a meal, that is.
The Cactus Blossom is what many like to call the "Bloomin' Onion," much to the servers' chagrin. At any rate, this fried onion concoction comes with its own dip, and one Texas Roadhouse server on Reddit said it was enough to generously feed at least two people — even two people can rarely down this in one sitting. Your best bet? Instead of ordering the Cactus Blossom for your own enjoyment, try ordering it for yourself and a table full of family and friends. Your pals will be sure to thank you and you won't have to worry about clumsily juggling as many to-go boxes on your way home.
Please Be Kind To Your Server
Okay, hear us out. This might sound cliché at first blush, but Texas Roadhouse employees want you to know that the servers are human, too. Though they are technically there to serve you and your needs, it's important that you keep in mind that many of them may receive as little as $2.13 per hour because they're expected to make the rest in tips. Not only this, but many Texas Roadhouse servers on Reddit reported tip-sharing, meaning that the tips they make don't only go to them but will go to other staff, such as bartenders, which further burns a hole in their pocket.
While it's fine to correct mistakes or question why your steak isn't cooked exactly as ordered, remember also that your server is likely stressed to the max, especially on nights when it is busy. Kindness can go a long way, so definitely remember to tip and take it easy on your hardworking servers; waiting tables isn't easy, and if you think it is, try it one day. We're almost certain you'll change your mind.
Read the original article on Mashed.