While the tough economic environment has forced Texas Roadhouse to slow its unit growth, officials of the 335-unit casual-dining chain say they refuse to cut back on their programs to keep employees engaged and motivated. Practices such as pre-shift “alley rally” gatherings and in-house competitions—for example, the employee deemed the best meat cutter each year could win $20,000—as well as the $500 in “fun money” managing partners are given monthly to host barbecues or ...

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