February 09, 2021
| Updated: February 09, 2021
Name: Mandy Holt
Company/Organization: Texas Roadhouse
Number of Years with the company: 18
Mandy started her career in Tyler, Texas as a Texas Roadhouse server. She recalled how she got started saying, “ I moved after high school and honestly went to Texas Roadhouse to make friends. I thought to myself … All these people like each other, and from then on Texas Roadhouse has stolen my heart.
I started as a server, worked in operations, and became a local store marketer. Marketing is about building sales through building relationships. I was in school but wasn’t motivated and then this accidental career happened so I never went back. I met my husband at Texas Roadhouse and now he works as a Roadhouse Managing Partner. The people and relationships attracted me most.
“A lot of company’s say they serve people but Texas Roadhouse serves people and just so happens to serve steak too.”
The decision to stay in Texas Roadhouse kind of happened to me. I wanted to establish myself in a community, and not a company. I looked up one day and said, I guess I’m going to work here forever. Roadhouse has a way of sucking you in. We have the core values of passion, partnership, integrity, fun … all with purpose. That is at the core of everything we do.
“In my role now I support the Dallas Fort Worth area in all their marketing needs. I’m their coach, cheerleader and teammate. At every turn I am reminded that the reason why we do what we do is people. It’s a constant multitask of one on one coaching via Microsoft Teams and monthly conference calls,” Mandy said. She loves hearing from the staff as well. She said, “Some of the best ideas come from people who are in the restaurants. We foster that openness and idea sharing at those meetings.”
I had to ask Mandy about the infamous Texas Roadhouse rolls. She told me prior to the pandemic, “anytime we would go and interact with the public they’d learn how to bake the bread. She continued to support Texas Roadhouse’s ethics saying, “Texas Roadhouse executives forfeited a portion of their salaries so hourly employees and part-time workers could be paid, and paid with bonuses. We have been extremely blessed. I’m proud of the fact that I work for Texas Roadhouse and that we say we are about our people, and when we had to prove it we did. Instead of closing, we pivoted our approach to cater towards to-go orders and ready-to-cook steaks. We are here because we continued to support our people. People are loyal to brands that support people.
“Some of our favorite people and relationships are with the Special Olympics and LETR. 2008 was my first year as a local store marketer in our Abilene location. That’s when I was first introduced to LETR. I participated in my very first Tip A Cop at a Mesquite location. I remember the Dallas SWAT team line danced with us. It was a great experience to start off with,” Mandy recalled.
Fast forward to 2020. A worldwide pandemic strikes! Mandy explained, “not doing our Tip A Cop in 2020 was a bummer. We usually host a statewide Tip A Cop event on the same day every year, incorporating 65 stores. It’s a big event. The more stores we can get on board, the more fun and awareness we can share. SOTX is one of our more important relationships because of the mission behind SOTX, it’s all about the people. The common goal is loving each other. Why would we not partner with the Special Olympics and dive into an organization who is doing things with the same heart and intentions as us?”
She recalled, “My favorite memory is the handing off of the torch. One of the first events that I got involved with was feeding the law enforcement at summer games in Arlington. In the role that I am in I get to walk around and build relationships with everyone.” The weather wasn’t the best for competition but Mandy remembered feeling encouraged, “seeing an event continue rain or shine. It was amazing. The overall feeling of the event is joy
. That’s why we keep doing it. It multiplies the joy that you feel,” Mandy said with a smile.
Doug Ray, the Law Enforcement Torch Run Executive Director, said, “Special Olympics Texas is very grateful for this amazing relationship with Texas Roadhouse. The Tip a Cop events have been a tremendous success raising over a million dollars since its inception and equally as important, the event brings together all aspects of our Special Olympics Texas organization and the community to support our athletes. I know that our Law Enforcement Torch Run group looks forward to this event every year and the success just continues to grow. Our Special Olympics Texas athletes have never had a better friend than Mandy and the Texas Roadhouse family.
I asked Mandy what her relationship was with police officers and law enforcement prior to working so closely with them. She admitted the relationship was a bit ambivalent. She said, “back then it was like... please don’t pull me over. I was always taught to respect them though. Strangely, a lot of our friend group are law enforcement. At least three officers that I know were positively affected by their experiences at Texas Roadhouse.”
Mandy continued, “Now more than ever I think it’s important to stand with our community heroes. Police, fire, teachers, and countless others. We started these partnerships and we are part of these communities. This continued relationship is extremely important, and it's important to remain true to what got us here. At its core it's about loving our community. Law enforcement specifically are a big part of protecting our entire community. We are going to continue to support them.
You may have noticed, Texas Roadhouse intentionally does not spend large amounts of their budget on television ads. They would rather you interact with one of their employees to get a sense of their culture, “than have you see their logo on tv. While Texas Roadhouse is a chain, Mandy said, “they are locally owned and operated by people who live in the communities. There is a different level of investment when you live and own things in the community. We invest in our communities and our relationships.”
Special thanks to Mandy Holt and Texas Roadhouse for their continued support of LETR and SOTX!