By now, it's safe to say that most of us know about a magical place called Chipotle. In Chipotle news, Chipotle debuts debt free degrees for all of their employees, making getting a degree just a tad bit more accessible. This is only such a big deal since this makes Chipotle the first in the fast-casual industry to significantly expand their education benefits for their employees. So maybe now's the time to work for Chipotle? Wouldn't say no to being surrounded by food as part of "work."

What are the details?

Chipotle Burrito Bowl, burrito bowl, Chipotle
Jocelyn Hsu

Asides from having an amazing not so secret secret menu, Chipotle is known for its best-in-class benefits. Recently, they just announced that they will be providing the opportunity for all eligible employees, including crew members, to pursue a debt-free college degree through an expansion of Chipotle's Cultivate Education benefits program. Over the past two years, the program has provided employees with over 20 million dollars in tuition assistance, which alone is amazing.

The nice thing about this new benefit is that Chipotle is covering 100% of tuition costs up front for a grand total of 75 different types of business and technology degrees through their partnership with Guild Education, which just so happens to be one of the leading education benefits companies in the entire country. Chipotle has added this opportunity to obtain debt-free degrees to its employees in order to have the chance to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the infamous yet evolving 21st century job market. After 120 days of employment, employees are eligible to pursue degrees from leading nonprofit, accredited universities, including The University of Arizona, Bellevue University, Brandman University, Southern New Hampshire University, and Wilmington University.

Chief People Officer, Marissa Andrada has stated that “Chipotle recognizes 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.” Since Chipotle debuts such an amazing benefit, I don't think I'm able to count a single employee that wouldn't want to take advantage of such benefit.

What else is there to know?

Chipotle, salad
Jocelyn Hsu

Guild Education CEO & Co-Founder, Rachel Carlson has stated that “This expansion of Chipotle’s Cultivate Education benefits program to cover 100% tuition costs upfront for degrees in business and technology represents the company’s commitment to upskilling its workforce and helping employees achieve their professional goals; we are thrilled to partner with Chipotle as they continue to lead the way in the fast-casual industry for enhancing the employee experience with best-in-class benefits." The launch of said debt-free degree program is the latest addition to Chipotle’s Cultivate Education program, which includes an existing tuition reimbursement program, allowing eligible employees to be reimbursed for tuition up to $5,250 a year at the school of their choice. According to Guild Education research, 63% of students enrolled in the program are first-generation college students and 86% have reported feeling that they need additional education to achieve their professional goals. The Cultivate Education program has demonstrated that employees enrolled are more likely to be retained and promoted within Chipotle than non-participating employees. Last year, Chipotle promoted more than 13,000 of its employees and hopes to expand that number as it continues to invest in its people with industry leading benefits. If you ask me, Chipotle's taking a step in the right direction since if you don't treat your employees well, they'll be sh*t to you...

In addition to education, Chipotle offers an industry-first crew bonus program, which allows its restaurant employees the opportunity to earn an extra month’s worth of pay each year for meeting certain criteria. Qualifying crew members can also take advantage of a full suite of benefits including access to healthcare; fitness discounts; and free English as a second language and GED classes for employees and family members.

All of these great benefits just for working at Chipotle... besides the incident where they had e-coli, I wouldn't be one to knock working at Chipotle down; and besides, if you haven't gotten over the whole e-coli thing, please stop being petty and give Chipotle another chance. You never know what Chipotle is going to debut in terms of benefits and food, so be prepared for another 'Chipotle debuts' article in the near or not so near future.