English as a Second Language (ESL) Program Builds Confidence in Communication
Communication is key to building strong relationships with others, but it can also play a significant role in how we feel about ourselves. Our ability to communicate effectively can help us feel heard and understood and give us the confidence to develop the relationships we desire.
Hospitality is a relational field. As the nation’s largest foodservice provider in the business and industry market, Eurest is committed to helping its associates feel confident at work, which in turn, improves quality of service.
In 2021, Eurest launched the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program to support hourly associates who voluntarily want to improve their communication skills and work toward career advancement.
Led by Eurest’s Diversity & Inclusion Action Council (DIAC), the program currently offers support for strengthening English in languages like Spanish, French, Chinese, Mandarin, and plans are in production to expand the program’s language offerings as it evolves.
Up to 250 associates are able to participate when class is in session virtually. This flexibility empowers participants to learn at their own pace, regardless of their location or time zone. Throughout the program, participants concentrate on a wide range of focus areas, including reading, pronunciation, vocabulary building, grammar, and listening skills. Additionally, each participant is paired with a mentor who plays a pivotal role in their journey, providing guidance and closely monitoring progress throughout the program.
“These programs have truly been a game-changer for us because they have opened doors for so many people. Associates who may have never thought they had opportunities before now realize the immense potential for growth and progression,” says General Manager Edgardo Lopez Acevedo who serves on the DIAC and leads Eurest’s ESL program.
Bertha Alvarado is a shining example of what this program can do.
Originally from Ecuador, Spanish is Bertha’s first language. Her journey with the ESL program began in 2021 when her manager saw her potential to advance on the team and nominated her.
“ESL classes have been life-changing for me. I speak with a lot of guests every day in my job. These classes gave me the opportunity to communicate clearly with guests, especially when it comes to pronunciation,” says Bertha.
Bertha isn’t just keeping her newfound skills to herself. She’s paying it forward by mentoring others looking to improve their English-speaking abilities. With increased confidence, she’s progressed in her career and now proudly serves as a lead cashier, proving that this program can open doors to career advancement.