We believe our corporate responsibility begins with our employees. We're proud of programs we've designed to attract, retain and engage a diverse and talented workforce programs like tuition reimbursement and the benefits package we offer:
We value, encourage and recognize the diversity of our workforce. We embrace our personal differences - whether it be race, gender, age, religion, culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation, veteran status, national origin or physical ability - and the benefits that an array of backgrounds, cultures and thinking styles bring to our organization. After all, the heart and soul of our brands are the people who take pride in their job and help those around them. Our employees are integral to our success. While the world and our business change rapidly, respecting individual differences will continue to be essential to our long-term success.
The Applebee's® Heidi Fund was established in 2002 in honor of Heidi Tomassi, an Applebee's server in Olathe, Kansas. At the time, Heidi's 4-month-old son was suffering from a rare heart defect. After two open-heart surgeries, she and her husband were deeply in debt. But when one of her customers accidentally left behind $3,300 in cash, Heidi instinctively did the right thing and returned the money. Her kindness was repaid with an outpouring of financial support from others. To honor Heidi, Applebee's created the Heidi Fund to provide financial assistance to other employees at company-owned restaurants who also find themselves in a financial crisis brought on by a catastrophic life event. The Heidi Fund has also been able to make special grants to team members at franchise locations who have suffered through recent natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.