High School Students from 44 States Compete for $1.4 Million in Scholarships at the National ProStart Invitational

High School Students from 44 States Compete for $1.4 Million in Scholarships at the National ProStart Invitational

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) will host the 12th annual National ProStart Invitational in Baltimore, Md. April 19-22. More than 350 top ProStart students from 44 states, territories and Department of Defense bases will demonstrate their mastery of restaurant leadership skills – culinary and management – in a fast-paced competition, all going for a share of $1.4 million in scholarships.

“The National ProStart Invitational competition is designed to motivate and reward students from the two-year ProStart program who have won their state events,” said Rob Gifford , executive vice president of philanthropic initiatives for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “Thanks to our generous donors and post-secondary partners, we are excited to award $1.4 million in scholarships to the winning teams of students, providing continued education and helping to foster future industry leaders.”

The National ProStart Invitational is the country’s premier high school competition focused on restaurant management and culinary arts. More than 900 attendees, including industry and academic leaders, NRAEF board members, state restaurant association representatives, ProStart educators, friends and family members will be there cheering on student competitors from across the U.S.

The culinary competition highlights the creative abilities of each team as they prepare a three-course meal in 60 minutes, using only two butane burners with no 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. Then, they’ll have to think on their feet as they solve the types of challenges restaurant managers face on a daily basis.

National Restaurant Association research projects that total restaurant and foodservice employment will grow by 11 percent over the next 10 years. The NRAEF is committed to supporting the development of a highly trained and professional talent pool to enhance the stature of the restaurant industry.

“Building a pipeline of industry talent is a key imperative for the NRAEF, and through ProStart, our cornerstone program, we are creating life-changing experiences that train students both in the classroom and on the job,” said Gifford. “Participants and winners from previous competitions have gone on to have rewarding careers in the restaurant industry, and each year we continue to develop some of the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s leaders.”

The ProStart program brings the industry and the classroom together to give 95,000 students nationwide a platform to discover new interests and talents, while opening doors to fulfilling careers. With national and local support from industry members, educators, the NRAEF and state restaurant associations, ProStart is taught in 1,700 schools. For more information on the ProStart program, visit NRAEF.org/ProStart or find us on Twitter or Facebook.

For information on sponsor packages for the National ProStart Invitational, please contact Shakon Turner, Director of Development, at 813-362-1455 or sturner@nraef.org.