Chili’s Grill & Bar Becomes First Restaurant to Partner in Innovative Management Training Program for Military Servicemembers

 NRAEF to Salute Chain at 2022 Military Foodservice Awards

WASHINGTON, DC – May 19, 2022 – The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) today announced that Brinker International, Inc., one of the world’s leading casual dining restaurant companies, is the NRAEF’s first SkillBridge employer, offering the innovative management training program in its Chili's® Grill & Bar restaurants. SkillBridge provides military servicemembers with the specialized training they need to transfer into successful restaurant, foodservice and hospitality careers.

In celebration of the program, Brinker International, Inc., will join the NRAEF in announcing this program in alignment with the 2022 Military Foodservice Awards and training, held in conjunction with the National Restaurant Show in Chicago and Armed Forces Day on Saturday, May 21.

Offered in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, SkillBridge helps transitioning servicemembers prepare for a Department of Labor-approved restaurant management apprenticeship program, or to immediately enter the workforce. As a 12-week program incorporating hands-on work experience and front of the house and back of the house instruction, SkillBridge participants also become proficient in product quality and cost control, as well as sales and marketing.


Offered in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, SkillBridge helps transitioning servicemembers prepare for a Department of Labor-approved restaurant management apprenticeship program, or to immediately enter the workforce.

“Transitioning servicemembers come with tremendous skills that our industry’s restaurant, foodservice and hospitality operations desperately need and want,” said Rob Gifford, President of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “We are grateful to Brinker International for being our first SkillBridge employer and for championing job and career opportunities in our industry for our nation’s heroes.”

For Chili’s, the SkillBridge program is a welcome simplification to a process they’ve believed in for years, giving them a much easier conduit to recruit these desirable additions to the civilian workforce.

“We thank our military members for their service and value their leadership experience. We’ve focused on attracting, identifying and retaining strong talent transitioning out of the military into civilian careers for many years, and welcome the opportunity to help them transfer their skills into rewarding restaurant careers,” said Rick Badgley, Executive Vice President and Chief People and Administrative Officer of Brinker International. “We’re all about making people feel special and showing them how much they matter. Our partnership with the NRAEF and DOD in bringing the SkillBridge program to life at Chili’s is another way for us to show our support.”

In 2019, Chili’s committed to enrolling 250 apprentices into the Foundation’s Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship (HSRA) program, and that number has grown to more than 2,000 to-date. HSRA is part of the Foundation’s new Restaurant & Hospitality Leadership Center, which offers three nationally-accredited training programs to restaurant employers – Line Cook, Kitchen Manager and Restaurant Manager – through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor. The Center joins with employers like Brinker International, Inc. to ensure a seamless process of identifying and enrolling employees, implementing standards and building an internal training program and, finally, awarding nationally-recognized credentials to graduating trainees. For more on The Restaurant & Hospitality Leadership Center, visit ChooseRestaurants.org/RHLC.  

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About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation: As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) mission of service to the public is dedicated to enhancing the industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to Attract, Empower and Advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce. NRAEF programs include: ProStart® – a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready – partnering with community based organizations to provide “opportunity youth” with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees; and the Restaurant & Hospitality Leadership Center (RHLC) – accredited apprenticeship programs designed to build the careers of service professionals. For more information on the NRAEF, visit ChooseRestaurants.org.

Click here for the NRAEF 2021 Annual Impact Report

About Brinker International, Inc.: Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT) is one of the world’s leading casual dining restaurant companies and home of Chili’s® Grill & Bar, Maggiano’s Little Italy® and two virtual brands: It’s Just Wings® and Maggiano’s® Italian Classics. Founded by Norman Brinker in Dallas, Texas, we’ve ventured far from home, but stayed true to our roots. Brinker owns, operates or franchises more than 1,600 restaurants in 29 countries and two U.S. territories. Our passion is making people feel special, and we hope you feel that passion each time you visit one of our restaurants or invite us into your home through takeout or delivery. Learn more about Brinker and its brands at brinker.com.

CONTACT:

Hannah Oliver
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
holiver@nraef.org

Jake Young
Brinker International
media.requests@brinker.com 
 

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