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Breaking the Language Barrier

Jack in the Box® Gives Restaurant Employees Opportunity to Learn English

SAN DIEGO – Through a new program called “Sed de Saber,” which means “Thirst for Knowledge,” Jack in the Box® is helping Latino restaurant employees who are interested in improving their English skills.

The voluntary English-as-a-second-language (ESL) program, an electronic kit for use at home, can help employees inside and outside the restaurant. The curriculum covers restaurant communication, such as taking orders and reading schedules, as well as general life skills, such as filling out applications and opening bank accounts.

“As a result of this program, some employees are more confident in speaking English and have moved from prep positions to guest service positions,” said Mark Blankenship, vice president of human resources and operational services.

Sed de Saber uses a LeapPad platform: Put a book onto the player, pop in a cartridge, and the pages come to life with sound at the touch of a stylus. The program even includes a tape recorder so users can play back their voice in English. The six-book curriculum takes a few months to complete and guides employees through the basics of English.

Sed de Saber, available to all restaurant employees throughout the chain, supports the Jack in the Box value of diversity in the workplace. And the company anticipates that Sed de Saber will help in recruiting and retaining great employees, paving the way for longer careers at Jack in the Box.

“After using Sed de Saber for just six weeks, some employees have seen tremendous improvement in their English skills, and we hope these workers will go on to become team leaders, assistants and managers,” Blankenship said. “We can see that the program is working, and it’s a great long-term proposition for our employees’ personal development and for Jack in the Box restaurants.”