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9 Secrets Texas Roadhouse Employees Don't Want You to Know

The food quality is surprisingly good. The atmosphere is surprisingly contrived.

Texas Roadhouse is an outright success story in the restaurant business. Since its founding nearly 30 years ago in 1993, the chain has grown to hundreds of locations spread across the nation and even with an international footprint. The restaurant is also well-respected for having quality steaks, cold beer, and a raucous, welcoming environment, according to Money Inc.

It's also usually very busy, so much so Wednesdays may be best avoided there, given the WildWest Wednesday specials that draw in so much traffic. Also best avoided at Texas Roadhouse are dishes made with leftovers and a drink with more sugar than you need in two days. Read about those and more below as Texas Roadhouse employees reveal secrets.

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Servers are pushed to upsell

servers upsell

When you order a steak at Texas Roadhouse, your server will ask if you want to add sautéed mushrooms and onions. Ask for a baked potato, and they'll ask if you want cheese and bacon. And on it goes. According to a Texas Roadhouse employee sharing on Reddit, the waitstaff there are pushed by management to always push upsell items on diners.

The environment can be toxic

texas roadhouse employees
Texas Roadhouse Careers

The push to upsell resulted in a toxic environment in some stores. One former employee admitted the tips were great, but the environment was not. "There were constant selling contests that seemed fun but caused conflict," the server said. They also said that some veteran servers would try to get the new ones to quit so they could get more tables and thus more tips. "At two months, I was the most senior newbie. Everyone else had been there over a year. And nothing in between."

The chain was founded in Indiana not Texas.

texas roadhouse exterior
Texas Roadhouse/ Facebook

And its headquarters is in Louisville, Kentucky. Oh, and its founder got his experience in the restaurant and hospitality scene in Colorado, reveals Louisville Business First. So there's really nothing Texan in the DNA of Texas Roadhouse, its name comes from a marketing move: the guy who started the chain just thought it sounded good and fit the vibe he wanted.


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The chain has been hiking prices

texas roadhouse menu

Last spring, you may well have heard about Texas Roadhouse increasing its menu prices by about 1.75% to keep up with increased costs. Ultimately, they raised prices by more like 4% in 2021, reports Nation's Restaurant News. Well this year, as inflation runs wild across almost all industries, things are getting even pricier at the Roadhouse. The company has hiked prices another 3%.

The cocktails are terrible for you

texas roadhouse cocktails
Texas Roadhouse / Facebook

And not because of the alcohol—or not primarily, anyway. Their Raspberry Margarita, for example, has a staggering 520 calories (which is almost as much as a Big Mac) and a shocking 76 grams of sugar, which is about double the entire recommended daily intake, according to Healthline.

The bread and butter will keep coming, but you have to ask

texas roadhouse rolls
Holly C./ Yelp

Everyone knows about the endless supply of free peanuts at a Texas Roadhouse (and again, of course, all the resulting peanut shells littering the floor) but you are also welcome to an endless supply of more substantial free food there: rolls and butter, says Mashed. Servers at the chain will only bring one basket of bread and butter per table unless they are asked for more, but if you request subsequent rounds of rolls, you'll get them.

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They make their chili out of leftovers


According to several Texas Roadhouse employees who shared some secrets about the chain on Reddit, the chili there is really best avoided. One worker said in part "the leftovers from [the steaks] are used for the kebobs and Dillo bites, and anything else is used to make the chili … Avoid the chili."

The Filet Medallions are the best steak deal on the menu

texas roadhouse Filet Medallions
Texas Roadhouse

A former Texas Roadhouse worker—someone therefore no longer obliged to upsell—shared a TikTok video in which, via Newsweek, she claimed the nine-ounce medallion meal is the best deal you can get. It delivers more meat than most steak options offered and comes with any side of your choice, as you can swap out the rice or mashed potatoes.

The cheapest steak is the most popular

texas roadhouse
Pierina Z./ Yelp

What with their constant upselling and recommending pricier items, Texas Roadhouse employees would rather you not know that, according to Delish, the best-selling steak the chain sells is also the cheapest: it's the six-ounce sirloin steak. And it has been the way since 1993.

A previous version of this article was originally published on Jun 10, 2022.

Steven John
Steven John is a freelancer writer for Eat This, Not That! based just outside New York City. Read more about Steven