Top-Ranking High School Students To Compete At Nation’s Largest Culinary Arts And Restaurant Management Skills Competition

Top-Ranking High School Students To Compete At Nation's Largest Culinary Arts And Restaurant Management Skills CompetitionNational ProStart Invitational Offers Millions in Scholarships to Winning Teams

Top-Ranking High School Students To Compete At Nation's Largest Culinary Arts And Restaurant Management Skills CompetitionHigh school students who have won their state ProStart competitions are headed to Anaheim, California, for the 14th annual National ProStart Invitational, April 18-20 at the Disneyland Hotel.

ProStart is one of the largest industry-supported career technical education programs in the nation, offering students the knowledge and skills necessary to consider and forge rich and varied careers in the restaurant and foodservice sector.

The National ProStart Invitational culinary competition requires student teams to prepare a three-course meal in 60 minutes, using only two butane burners and without access to running water or electricity. Teams are evaluated on taste, teamwork, safety and sanitation, among other skills. Management teams develop a business proposal for an original restaurant concept and present it to a panel of industry judges. The students are then asked to solve the types of challenges restaurant managers face on a daily basis.

“The National ProStart Invitational brings the best and brightest – really the future leaders of our nation’s restaurant and foodservice industry – to demonstrate what they have learned in the classroom, and represent their state’s ProStart program on the national level,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president, strategic operations and philanthropy for the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “This annual event showcases the critical tie between the industry and classroom that makes the ProStart program a model for career technical education.”

Coca Cola, EcoLab, Georgia Pacific, Golden Corral, Popeyes, Inc. and the Burger King McLamore Foundation offer cash scholarships for the 1st – 5th place culinary and management teams in amounts ranging from $500–$5,000. In addition, several leading culinary schools and post-secondary institutions offer full scholarships to the winning teams. All competitors have the opportunity to meet with schools, recruiters and major restaurant and foodservice employers to discuss higher education and career paths in the industry during the event.

Every year, ProStart impacts more than 118,000 students across 48 states, the Territory of Guam and at Department of Defense schools in Europe and the Pacific by connecting the industry and the classroom to train students with the skills that help them achieve exciting, rewarding and long-term careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry. ProStart students and educators agree that ProStart is effective in teaching culinary technique and restaurant management, as well as critical employability skills including teamwork, communication and professional behavior. Seventy percent of ProStart students plan to pursue postsecondary education.

For more information on the National ProStart Invitational, visit For more information on the ProStart program, visit or find us on Twitter or Facebook.

As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF exists to enhance the restaurant industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. The NRAEF works to attract, develop and retain a career-oriented professional workforce for the restaurant industry. In 2015, the restaurant and foodservice industry is projected to comprise one million outlets and a workforce of 14 million employees, making it the nation’s second largest private sector employer. For more information on the NRAEF, visit