This is an addendum to an earlier blog post I wrote about Texas Roadhouse and the correlation between happy employees and the bottom line. I wasn’t the only one noticing the restaurant chain’s employee satisfaction efforts. Last week, I was in New York City and had a lovely visit with Elissa Elan, east coast editor, Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN). We talked about NRN’s front page story by Lisa Jennings, which provides terrific background on how Texas Roadhouse is refusing “to cut back on their programs to keep employees engaged and motivated.” Examples? An annual employee competition awards $20,000 to the best meat cutter and $500 per month is given to managing partners as “fun money” to host monthly barbecues or take teams to ballgames. And, at a time when many companies are cutting back on incentive meetings afraid they may be seen as excessive, Texas Roadhouse still goes all out. The company even inflated a 25-foot armadillo on the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco at their annual meeting. “We wanted to tell everyone that we’re rewarding our folks and we’re proud of it,” said Travis Doster, a company spokesman. Check out the article for other examples and best practices.