Few things in this world compare to seeing young adults passionate about their futures. So when I had the honor to attend the recent National ProStart Invitational, the country’s premier secondary school competition focusing on restaurant management and culinary arts in Providence, RI, I was once again overwhelmed by the excitement I saw in the faces of America’s future restaurant leaders. Nearly 400 student competitors put their skills to the test, cooking delicious three-course meals and presenting business pitches in front of industry leaders, with hopes of earning more than $200,000 in scholarships from leading culinary and restaurant management programs.
As the backbone of America’s workforce, restaurants already employ approximately 15 million people from all walks of life and backgrounds in every local community. We want to expand that opportunity to others and help teach more people – like the 500,000 ProStart students who have participated in the program – the fundamental skills and values needed to be successful in life and in any career, such as a strong work ethic, personal responsibility, and how to serve others. That is why we want everyone to know that restaurants are open for business and committed to helping millions of people achieve a brighter future.