8 Reasons ProStart is Important – Seriously!

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High school culinary and hospitality management students are heading to Disneyland for the 14th annual National ProStart Invitational. Those destined for Anaheim, Calif., won their state ProStart competitions.

Organized by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the competition is set for April 18 through 20 at the Disneyland Hotel. Wondering why ProStart is important? Here are eight reasons:

  1. It’s one of the largest industry-supported technical education programs in the United States, and it provides students with the skills to pursue restaurant and foodservice careers.
  2. ProStart reaches more than 118,000 high-school students in 48 states, Guam and Defense Department schools in Europe and the Pacific. The program provides training culinary technique and restaurant management, as well as teamwork, communication and professionalism.
  3. Seventy percent of ProStart students plan to pursue post-secondary educations at colleges, universities and culinary academies.
  4. Competing culinary students prepare three-course meals in one hour on two butane burners.
  5. The teams are judged on taste, teamwork, safety and sanitation practices, among other skills.
  6. Management teams develop a business plan for a hypothetical restaurant concept and present it to a panel of industry judges. The students then answer questions about typical challenges restaurant managers face.
  7. Top-placing teams (first through fifth place) win $500 to $5,000 scholarships to help with education expenses. Sponsors include Coca-Cola Co., EcoLab, Georgia Pacific, Golden Corral, Popeyes and the Burger King McLamore Foundation. Several leading culinary schools and post-secondary institutions also offer full scholarships to the winning teams.
  8. All competitors get to meet with schools, recruiters and major restaurant and foodservice employers to discuss higher education and industry careers during the event.

“This Invitational brings together the best and brightest – really the future leaders of our industry – to not only demonstrate what they have learned in the classroom, but also represent their state’s ProStart program on the national level,” says Rob Gifford, the NRA’s executive vice president of strategic operations and philanthropy. “It is the best illustration for the critical tie between the industry and classroom, and makes ProStart a model for career technical education.”

www.nationalrestaurantassociation, 4-2-2015

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