VIDEO: Chipotle Field Leader and Chief Operating Officer Discuss How Investments in Training Accelerate Careers and Drive Better Business Outcomes

For Chipotle Field Leader Eddy Ceballo, who started 12 years ago as a Crew Member in Manhattan, great companies invest in their people. “If I get a chance to see the CEO or anybody higher up, one thing that I always tell them is, ‘Let’s make sure that we keep investing in our people. This is why Chipotle’s so successful, is because of the people that we have. And we need to keep that going.’”

With training and support from his manager, Eddy quickly rose through the ranks in his first three years on the job – from Kitchen Manager to Service Manager to General Manager, and now makes over six figures as a Field Leader overseeing eight different locations. 

Eddy is just one of the nearly 1 million employees represented through the Worker Financial Wellness Initiative, which we launched in collaboration with PayPal, the Financial Health Network, and the Good Jobs Institute to help companies bolster the financial health of their employees. To learn how those actions have impacted their lives and livelihoods, we spoke with workers firsthand in a compelling new video series. 

This is Eddy’s story.

Following our conversation with Eddy, we also spoke with Chipotle’s Chief Operating Officer Scott Boatwright about the importance of investing in workers and his company’s involvement with the Worker Financial Wellness Initiative. 

“We’re working to drive a culture where we reach down and pull people up,” Boatwright explained. “Each one of us in this organization had someone along the way in our career journey that really helped mold us, guide us, and develop us into the people that we are today. We have a distinct responsibility to do the same or give the same effort to every single person that makes the choice to join our brand.”

Both Boatwright and Eddy highlighted that over 90% of restaurant managers at Chipotle were promoted internally – demonstrating the company’s clear commitment to helping its employees advance from within. For Eddy, advancement came not only from internal promotions and management experience but from financial planning resources that helped him provide for his family, buy a house, and become a U.S. citizen.

Twelve years in, Eddy is continuing to develop his career at Chipotle – something Boatwright emphasized is key to the company’s ongoing success: “We’ve stated publicly, we plan to grow at 8-10% annually for the foreseeable future. That growth doesn’t happen without having committed, dedicated team members in every restaurant that have aspirations to continue to develop in their career here at Chipotle.”

Because of the many ways Chipotle makes that growth possible, employees like Eddy stick around. “Development from within is a key component where we keep people green and growing in their career. We don’t have to source talent from outside the enterprise, which as you know, can get very costly,” explained Boatwright. Chipotle’s investments in its workers ensure long-term sustainability and avoids hefty short-term costs that come from relentless turnover. “Investing in your people is probably one of the smartest decisions you’ll ever make as a leader, that’ll pay massive dividends to your organization today and in the future.”

As part of its growth targets, Chipotle plans to build 255 to 285 new restaurants in North America in 2023, with each needing crew members, kitchen managers, service managers, and a general manager, along with Field Leaders like Eddy. After promoting 22,000 team members in 2022, Chipotle is poised to provide more and more pathways for its current workforce. Boatwright put it simply, “The amount of opportunity that exists here is just enormous.”

When Chipotle came on board for the Worker Financial Wellness Initiative in 2021, the company was already strongly committed to investing in its employees, even beyond internal hiring – from wage increases to parental leave enhancements to debt-free degree programs. “Financial security, for me, has changed how I think,” explained Eddy, who also sees his own learnings as something he can share with his team. “And I think that definitely makes you feel good, because you are actually paying that forward and guiding our Crew Members, Managers, and even family.”

It’s this spirit of uplifting others that guides Boatwright as well. “If not for the investment in my personal development and growth throughout the years, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” he shared. “I feel a very strong responsibility to help just as many other people as I possibly can to achieve their career goals.”

With this sense of responsibility being core to Chipotle’s culture – from the kitchen to the boardroom – there are opportunities for growth at every rung of the organizational ladder. As Eddy shared, listening is the crucial first step that allows for both alignment and advancement. Thanks to his first manager who took time to listen to his needs, and the time he takes now to hear from his own team, Eddy is working to keep paying it forward – something he also expects to see from his C-suite colleagues like Boatwright. “It’s really important for companies to listen to their employees. That’s the way they show that they actually care.”

Hear from other employees about the impact worker financial wellness programs have had on their lives: 

The Worker Financial Wellness Initiative is a vibrant and growing community of business leaders dedicated to improving the financial health and security of their workers. The Initiative includes peer learning opportunities for C-Suite leaders; creating resources and events for HR and compensation professionals; providing direct assistance to companies on how to develop and deploy a Worker Financial Wellness Assessment, and use it to identify areas for improvement and immediate next steps; and public opportunities to celebrate corporate leadership. 

To learn more about the Initiative and how you can join, click here. 

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