Growing better-burger chain Hopdoddy Burger Bar has partnered with the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts to help its employees earn culinary degrees while they’re working full time.
Hopdoddy employees are eligible for a $2,000 tuition discount for the online program and can apply their work at the chain to fulfill their externship requirement. Escoffier will also offer two full scholarships for the chain’s employees.
“The restaurant industry is the last of Mohicans,” Staci Drilling, Hopdoddy’s director of people and performance, told Restaurant Business. “You can come in in an untrained position and learn a job that transforms into a craft that becomes a career. We’re really on the lookout for different programs to provide our team members to meet them where they are.”
Austin-based Hopdoddy, which has 31 units, has 800 employees who would be eligible for the Escoffier program, Drilling said. She expects 20 employees to enroll when the program begins later this summer.
Hopdoddy also offers a program that allows employees to earn a high school diploma and a certificate in restaurant management.
“We do hope and do believe it’ll have a positive impact on retention,” she said. “It’s just a positive side effect.”