LRA Education Foundation ProStart Program


ProStart is a nationwide, two-year program for high school students that develops the best and brightest talent into tomorrow's industry leaders. From culinary techniques to management skills, ProStart's industry-driven curriculum provides real-world educational opportunities and builds practical skills and a foundation that will last a lifetime.

By bringing industry and the classroom together, ProStart gives students a platform to discover new interests and talents and opens doors for fulfilling careers. The curriculum teaches all facets of the restaurant and foodservice industry, inspires students to succeed and sets a high standard of excellence for students and the industry. ProStart is supported and operated by the LRA Education Foundation in partnership with the NRA Educational Foundation. With 60 high schools and more than 2,000 students, the ProStart program has become a talent pipeline for careers in Louisiana's world-renowned foodservice industry.

ProStart's Mission
  • To unite industry and classroom to create a unique and unparalleled experience for students

  • To set a high standard of excellence for students and the industry overall

  • To offer life-changing opportunities for students and provide direction for potential career paths

  • To develop tomorrow's restaurant and foodservice industry workforce

Who are ProStart students and educators?
  • ProStart serves students in all types of communities, from rural to urban schools

  • Students participate in ProStart as an elective track in traditional high schools, career and technical centers, vocational high schools and Department of Defense schools

  • Educators range from family and consumer sciences educators to chefs who transitioned from the industry into the classroom

ProStart National Certificate of Achievement


The ProStart National Certificate of Achievement is the culmination of the ProStart program. To earn this industry recognized certificate, students complete the two-year program, pass two national exams and work 400 mentored hours. Students who achieve the certificate are eligible for scholarship opportunities and course credits at more than 75 of the country's leading hospitality and culinary arts colleges and universities.

Components of ProStart
  • School-based learning

  • Skill competencies developed and tested

  • ProStart curriculum includes:

    • Strategic business management

    • Culinary equipment and techniques

    • Customer service nutrition

    • ServSafe food safety and sanitation

    • Workforce readiness

Work-based learning
  • 400 hours of internships in a variety of industry settings with a competency-based work experience focus

  • All types of restaurant settings;

  • Working in hospitality-related manufacturers', suppliers' or vendors' offices;

  • School-based enterprises (foodservice or restaurant); hospitality/culinary volunteer community service (food bank or recycling programs);

  • Working in association offices, state trade show events, on behalf of hospitality programs at public relations events; and

  • Experience or jobs in travel and tourism (convention and visitors bureau, convention centers, airlines and attractions).

Connecting activities
  • Dual enrollment with community and technical colleges statewide

  • College and university scholarships and course credit

  • Enhance employment opportunities

  • Student and teacher mentoring from industry and post-secondary experts

National Restaurant Association Education Foundation

The restaurant industry employs 14 million people – about one in 10 working Americans. The National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (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.

Founded in 1987, the NRAEF is the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association. The NRAEF impacts the prosperity of the restaurant industry by developing a stronger workforce and building the next generation of industry leaders. The Foundation’s educational initiatives provide culinary, management, food safety, and employability skills training to build a pipeline of talent for the growing industry.

The Foundation’s cornerstone program – ProStart – is a two year, nationwide program that develops the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice leaders. ProStart serves more than 118,000 students at over 1,700 high schools in all 50 states, the Territory of Guam, and at Department of Defense Education Activity schools in Europe and Asia. ProStart trains students academically in the classroom and experientially on the job.

Additionally, the NRAEF awards scholarship to students and educators to provide continued industry education. Since 1997, the NRAEF has awarded more than $18 million in scholarships.

Learning Objectives

Level 1

  1. Welcome to the Restaurant and Foodservice Industry

  2. Keeping Food Safe

  3. Workplace Safety

  4. Kitchen Safety 1- Professionalism and    Understanding Standard Recipes

  5. Kitchen Essentials- Equipment and Techniques

  6. Stocks, Sauces and Soups

  7. Communication

  8. Management Essentials

  9. Fruits and Vegetables

  10. Serving Your Guests

  11. Potatoes and Grains

  12. Building a Successful Career in the Industry

Level 2

  1. Breakfast Foods and Sandwiches

  2. Nutrition

  3. Cost Control

  4. Salads and Garnishes

  5. Purchasing and Inventory

  6. Meat, Poultry and Seafood

  7. Marketing

  8. Desserts and Baked Goods

  9. Sustainability in the Restaurant and Foodservice Industry

  10. Global Cuisine 1- The Americas

  11. Global Cuisine 2- Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Asia