Mexican grill restaurant chain Chipotle has launched a new education initiative to give US-based staff access to online college classes and university degree programmes at a discounted rate.
Chipotle, which has a 60,000-strong workforce, introduced the initiative to support the development of employees and help attract and retain top performers.
The new scheme, provided by Guild Education, launched in August 2016. It includes a variety of online classes, programmes and university degrees, enabling employees to undertake college courses, attend graduate school, earn a general education diploma (GED) or study English as a second language while continuing to work for the organisation.
Classes are completed online at a discounted cost, with the support of a personal college and career advisor from Guild Education.
The scheme also allows staff to gain credit for past college coursework and up to 44 transfer credit hours for on-the-job training in crew, kitchen manager, service manager and apprentice manager positions.
The new education initiative will run alongside Chipotle’s current tuition reimbursement scheme, which gives employees access to up to $5,250 (£4051) annually to put towards education costs. This programme was extended in 2015 to include hourly as well as salaried employees.
With federal grants of $5,815 (£4487) also available to qualifying staff, employees could pay as little as $250 (£192) a year for furthering their education.
Monty Moran, co-chief executive officer at Chipotle, said: “Attracting and retaining teams of top performers is one of the key drivers of our business, and we are always looking for ways to enhance the benefits we offer to help us do that.
“We’ve seen a lot of success and participation with our existing tuition reimbursement programme, and through this new partnership with Guild Education, we can offer our employees even more assistance and opportunities to pursue their education.”