Chipotle is investing in new education benefits for its employees who are studying business and technology with a new program that will pay tuition up front.
"Chipotle recognizes that financial barriers can be one of the biggest obstacles that impede our employees from achieving their fullest potential," Marissa Andrada, chief people officer for the company, said in a statement. "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."
The fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain announced Tuesday in a press release that it will "cover 100% of tuition costs up front for 75 different types of business and technology degrees through their partnership with Guild Education."
The company will offer employees the debt-free degree opportunity, after 120 days of employment, to pursue degrees from leading nonprofit, accredited universities, including The University of Arizona, Bellevue University, Brandman University, Southern New Hampshire University and Wilmington University.
Guild Education CEO and co-founder Rachel Carlson said they are "thrilled to partner with Chipotle" to enhance employee experience with benefits.
One Chipotle employee in New York City, Brice Widger, who had two majors with multiple credits, said he was "debating whether or not to go back and pursue my degree." Widger said with the accelerated program through Bellevue University and Chipotle's tuition assistance, the decision was easy.
This is the latest addition to Chipotle's Cultivate Education program that includes a tuition reimbursement program, which allows eligible employees to be reimbursed for tuition up to $5,250 a year at the school of their choice.
Chipotle also offers an industry-first bonus program for employees to "earn an extra month’s worth of pay each year for meeting certain criteria."
Health care, fitness discounts, free English as a second language and GED classes for employees and family members are all available to qualifying employees as part of Chipotle's full suite of benefits.