In anticipation of 25 per cent to 35 per cent growth in Canada by the end of 2024, restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is making staff development a key part of its attraction and retention strategy.

This focus on employee development has contributed to an internal promotion rate of 87 per cent and has led to increased opportunities for employees to be promoted to general manager within three years, says Bernard Che, Chipotle Canada’s manager of people experience.

“Our suite of employee benefits is complementary to our company’s growth in Canada. For example, our tuition reimbursement offering allows our employees to upskill through higher education, so they are more prepared to develop in parallel with our continued expansion.”

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Currently, the organization’s employees are eligible for tuition reimbursement after four months of continuous service, while averaging at least 20 hours per week. And it recently decided to expand its benefits offering in the U.S. to add a student debt payment component.

In Canada and the U.S., Chipotle also offers an increasing number of benefits as employees progress through the ranks, in an effort to support them at all stages of their careers, adds Che. At the base level, the restaurant chain offers a group registered retirement savings plan, an employee assistance program with 24-7 benefits and referral bonuses. As employees move up within the company, they also receive extensive medical benefits, including vision care and a drug reimbursement plan.

Through internal surveys and listening sessions, Chipotle aims to ensure its benefits are aligned with the needs of employees, says Che, adding this approach allows it to stay ahead of the curve in keeping its benefits offering competitive.

“At Chipotle, we’ve seen benefits play a large role in overall job satisfaction for all employees. We’re focused on providing our current and prospective employees with clear pathways to advancement. By offering benefits that support their mental and financial well-being, these individuals are more likely to not only join but stay and grow with us too.”

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