LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A woman who watched CBS2′s “Where the Jobs Are” segment on Chipotle Mexican Grill is now climbing the ladder at the restaurant chain.
Matilda Alanouf grew up working in her family’s pizza parlor for 20 years but yearned to branch outside of the local business.
“My favorite thing as a little girl working in the restaurant was putting toppings on the pizza,” Matilda said while walking through Valentino’s restaurant in Long Beach with CBS2′s Paul Magers.
“[It's] very hard work but essentially it’s something that brought the family together and it’s how we survived,” she said.
It was a “Where the jobs are” segment in January that inspired Matilda to consider something different.
She saw Lidia Castillo, a Chipotle employee from Koreatown who fast-tracked her career from an entry-level position rolling burritos.
In little over a year, she worked her way up from earning $21,000 a year to $99,000 a year.
“I’m only 22-years-old and I make more than my parents, so that makes me really proud to say because I never imagined I could do something like that in such a short amount of time,” Lidia said.
The segment was enough for Matilda to say goodbye to pizza and hello to carne asada.
With the support of her family, she applied for an entry-level position.
“When I saw Lidia’s story it just blew me away when she said that she makes more money than both her parents combined,” she said.
Matilda is putting her culinary skills to work and is already working her way up the Chipotle ladder.
“You can go as far as you want. I mean look at me. I’ve been here for – it’s been four months now – and I’m already kitchen manager in training,” she said.
Chipotle General Manager, Ramiro, said he’s been impressed by Matilda’s work ethic, and her growth potential is unlimited at the chain.
“I see a future leader in her. I think she can be whatever she wants within this company,” he said.
Matilda is looking at Lidia’s success as her own road map to achieve elite status as a restauranteur. Lidia championed the perks of the job.
“So just for getting to a restaurateur, to the elite level that I am at, I get a bonus, I get a company car, and if I help somebody else become a general manager, I get $10,000,” she said.
Acquiring the position is a goal Matilda is eagerly looking forward to achieving.
“I would love to become restaurateur. And I will become restaurateur one day,” she said.
Matilda said her parents gave her their blessings to move on to Chipotle so that she could experience career growth and several other benefits, including medical insurance.
For more information on employment opportunities at the Mexican grill, visit its website.