Mexican restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill has launched a new employer-funded degree programme for its 80,000 US-based employees, offering to pay 100% of the tuition fees for 75 different business and technology degrees provided through Guild Education.
The new programme, introduced on 15 October 2019, enables all eligible employees with at least 120 days of service, including crew members, who complete food preparation, customer transaction and sanitation jobs, to undertake an employer-funded business or technology degree at non-profit, accredited universities, such as the University of Arizona, Bellevue University, Brandman University, Southern New Hampshire University and Wilmington University.
The programme is effective for classes starting after 15 November 2019.
This initiative expands on Chipotle Mexican Grill’s existing Cultivate Education initiative, which allows eligible employees to be reimbursed for tuition fees of up to $5,250 (£4,070.06) a year at a school of the employee’s choice. This includes accredited colleges, university courses, job certificate programmes and trade schools.
The tuition reimbursement benefit cannot be used in conjunction with the employer-funded degree programme; employees must choose one option to best suit their educational needs.
Crew members at Chipotle Mexican Grill also have access to a broader benefits package that includes a bonus scheme, providing the opportunity to earn an extra month’s pay each year for meeting set criteria. Other featured benefits are access to healthcare, fitness discounts and employer-paid English as a second language and General Educational Development (GED) classes for employees and their family members.
Chipotle Mexican Grill has 2,500 restaurants across the US, UK, Canada, France and Germany.
Marissa Andrada, chief people officer at Chipotle Mexican Grill, said: “Chipotle recognises that financial barriers can be one of the biggest obstacles that impede our employees from achieving their fullest potential.
“We are proud to launch this opportunity for debt-free degrees by providing free tuition to help our employees excel in all areas in their lives, both in and out of Chipotle.”