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Brinker International and Pearson Partner to Offer No Cost Education to Chili's and Maggiano's Employees
Leading casual dining company overhauls benefits to offer comprehensive education program creating career path model for restaurant industry

DALLAS, Jan. 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT), one of the world's leading casual dining restaurant companies and owner of Chili's® Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy®, announced today the launch of a comprehensive educational program, Best You EDU. In partnership with Pearson, Best You EDU is an employer-education program that provides opportunities for Brinker Team Members, ranging from hourly to management. At absolutely no cost to participants, Best You EDU is open to all Team Members who work at least 24 hours per week with a minimum tenure of 90 days and registration is now open.

Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release here: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8246351-brinker-pearson-education-chilis-maggianos-best-you-edu/

Best You EDU was designed to meet Team Members where they are on their educational journey, offering three main components: Foundational, GED and associate degrees.

  • No cost Foundational Program: Provides language, skills development and bilingual coaching in a mobile-first environment.
  • No cost GED Program: Provides online GED prep curriculum, bilingual advisory support and unlimited test-pass GED credential guarantees.
  • No cost associate degree: Provides an online pathway to an associate degree in business or general studies through a regionally accredited college, including all courses, text and study materials, advising and coaching support.

"We firmly believe that education is the single best benefit we can provide to our Team Members. The confidence that education provides is what encourages our Team Members to achieve the next step in their career," said Rick Badgley, Chief People Officer, Brinker. "Best You EDU is personal to me and the larger Brinker leadership team as many of us started our careers as a cook, dishwasher or host at a restaurant. Through education, we gained the confidence necessary to further pursue our careers."

"Pearson is proud to partner with Brinker to develop a custom education program," said Kevin Capitani, president, Pearson North America. "Only 2-3 percent of workers are in a position to use employer-tuition programs because of upfront costs, difficulty fitting education into their busy lives, or a lack of foundational skills. Brinker is one of the few companies addressing this range of barriers to a better job and to a better life."

To support Team Members throughout the education process, all participants will have access to a coach specific to their educational pathway. Coaches will provide help with everything from gaining internet access and encouraging participation and persistence to navigating work and school simultaneously and defining a career path. For associate degree candidates, coaches will help students with college applications, course selections and academic struggles while in school.

Here's what some Brinker Team Members had to say when they learned about Best You EDU:

  • "We already work for a company that has the drive to make our lives better. So, to see that they are taking more steps to help us achieve a more purposeful life is amazing to hear," said Katie McGee, Assistant Manager at Chili's.
  • "I would be one of many who would greatly appreciate and be grateful for working and being a part of a company that supports free education. That to me means that not only select individuals have an opportunity to succeed, but now that opportunity is available to all," said Victoria Castillo, host at Chili's.
  • "I'm excited to hear conversations among Teammates evolve to include 'and how are your classes going?' because the goal is to help each individual achieve their very best. And, to make that happen with no financial burden to our Teammates is the right way to do it," said Brooke Burgiel, PeopleWorks Director at Maggiano's.

By offering life-changing opportunities through Best You EDU, Guests will also reap benefits. Happier Team Members provide exceptional service to Guests, enhancing the overall dining experience. "When you feel supported and understood by your employer, you are more likely to go above and beyond," said Badgley. "We would much rather search and promote within our existing talent pool to find our next managers and general managers. Through great training and exceptional growth opportunities, we are using Best You EDU as a launching pad to expand our benefits offerings and this is just the beginning of what's to come."

For more information about Best You EDU, please visit https://www.brinkerjobs.com/why-choose-us/our-culture/ and http://www.pearsonlearningnews.com/building-a-movement-how-a-new-initiative-empowers-workers-through-education/

About Brinker International, Inc.
Brinker International, Inc. is one of the world's leading casual dining restaurant companies. Founded in 1975 and based in Dallas, Texas, as of the fiscal first quarter ended Sept. 27, 2017, Brinker owned, operated or franchised 1,682 restaurants under the names Chili's® Grill & Bar (1,630 restaurants) and Maggiano's Little Italy® (52 restaurants).

About Pearson
Pearson is the world's learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, visit www.pearson.com.

SOURCE Brinker International, Inc.

For further information: Brinker International, Inc., media.requests@brinker.com, 800.775.7290; Pearson, media@pearson.com, 202.909.4520
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