Last month, Brinker International unveiled its new education assistance program, which became immediately available to all team members across the organization. The program, called “Best You EDU,” was developed in partnership with Pearson, which offers tools, products and services to companies to help provide education to their team members. “Best You EDU” currently offers English as a Second Language (ESL) courses as well as educational tracks to help team members achieve a GED or associate’s degree at no cost. So far, over 500 Brinker employees have already signed up.

“The idea behind Best You EDU is really just an extension of what we’ve been doing for many years around wellbeing. For us, wellbeing is just a part of our foundation and a part of our people goals overall, and we seek to create the best life for all of our team members,” explained Kelli Valade, president of Chili’s.

Research from People Report™ has shown that benefit offerings such as education assistance can go a long way in improving employee relations and long-term retention for restaurants. This is critical at a time where retention remains one of the top challenges for chain restaurants.

“Overtime, the idea here is that we continue to foster the sense of internal promotion and development for our team members where they can grow with us or on their own,” explained Chris Ebbeler, director of social media and community engagement at Chili’s. “This is a huge opportunity from a talent acquisition and retention standpoint to keep our best people, because we are showing we believe in them and their ability to influence the business.”

Check out the full interview with the Brinker leadership team about the inception and future of “Best You EDU.”