What Goes On At Avocado Academy, Chipotle's Online University?

Deciding on a college major can feel like a big decision. If you are envisioning working with high technology, you may explore options like engineering or computer science. If you're interested in becoming the next Emily Brontë, you might pursue English or journalism. Or, if you'd like to avoid a more traditional route, you can explore numerous obscure majors that colleges and universities offer today. From puppet arts and amusement park engineering to bagpiping and leisure studies, the 21st century provides students with a lot of room to get creative. However, if none of these paths sound appealing or you'd just like to add some additional tools to your kit while in school or post-graduation, then a spot in Chipotle's online training program could be a good next step, especially if you stan the salad bowl and burrito abundant chain. 

Maybe you've already mastered skipping along the Chipotle line with ease and can predict down to the second when the server is going to say, "The guacamole is an extra charge. Is that OK?" Or perhaps you've dabbled in recreating Chipotle's Honey Vinaigrette recipe at home. Until recently, employees who believed a career at Chipotle was a good fit for them received an opportunity to enroll in Chipotle's Avocado Academy. What was Avocado Academy and what did employees learn there?

An introduction to Avocado Academy

Avocado Academy was an online program created to teach Chipotle employees skills such as how to best make the food and how to ensure it's being made with caution. The curriculum was mandatory for all employees. 

One California Chipotle employee, Mindy, enrolled in Avocado Academy at the time of her employment. She told Mental Floss, "Avocado Academy is a program we have for training [and] orientation." Mindy added, "There are videos of how to prep a new food we might have [and] every quarter we have our food safety training. The food safety training needs to be completed by every employee that goes over how to keep the food safe and the store clean." 

Per a Reddit thread, Chipotle employees said that while enrolled in the academy, they were paid for their time, which is why it was best to do the training while on the job, rather than pursuing the content and videos at home. Employees had to complete the course in order to work at Chipotle. In a separate Reddit post, an employee suggested that instead of doing the training at home, workers should "stay later or come earlier and get paid for that training time like you're supposed to." 

What happened to Avocado Academy?

Redditors claim that Avocado Academy does not exist anymore and that employees now use a program called the SpiceHub, which offers Chipotle employees a similar training experience. But Chipotle's Avocado Academy and the SpiceHub are not the only restaurant training schools helping their students become more business savvy.

McDonald's Hamburger University may be even more challenging to get into than Harvard. Per Bloomberg, its campus in Shanghai accepts less than 1% of applicants. Students at the American campus can receive credits toward a "Hamburgerology degree," or towards an associate's or bachelor's degree at certain schools. There are several locations around the world in spots like Tokyo and London. The university primarily teaches students how to brush up on their business and professional skillset. 

Although Chipotle employees no longer have the chance to learn new skills at Avocado Academy while Hamburger University continues to expand, let's hope the Mexican restaurant's guacamole will continue to remain a Chipotle staple. Otherwise, it appears customers can still count on plenty of spices in their next salad bowl, taco, or burrito.