ApprenticeshipExpanding Talent Pools
and Advancing Careers

Earn While You Learn - Building a Career in the Restaurant Industry

The NRAEF apprenticeship program provides both new and current restaurant and foodservice employees the opportunity to advance their careers and move into higher paying positions. Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, apprenticeship is a win-win for both the employee and their company.

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How it Works

In partnership with employers of all sizes, apprentices participate in a competency-based program involving on-the-job training and traditional classroom work.

As each skill and competency is mastered, apprentices advance in the program until all competencies are documented and completed. Depending on the apprenticeship career focus and the individual apprentice, this “earn while you learn” program can take approximately one to two years to complete.



Apprenticeship Program Resources

Questions about Apprenticeship

Your apprenticeship questions answered.

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Informational Brochure

For step-by-step instructions on how to start a registered apprenticeship, download our informational brochures.

Restaurant Brochure

Lodging Brochure

Apprenticeship Toolkit

Find out more about the strategy to expand your talent pool, the benefits of apprenticeship, and how you can get started.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship (HSRA)?

In the fall of 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) awarded the NRAEF a $1.8 million contract to develop the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship (HSRA) - the first-ever apprenticeship program specifically for the restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality industries. The USDOL officially approved and signed the standards for HSRA in June 2017, specifying the requirements necessary for employers to offer apprenticeships to their employees.

What are the benefits of apprenticeship in the restaurant industry?

Apprenticeship programs are proven to reduce turnover costs, increase productivity and create a more skilled, diverse and competitive workforce.

Apprenticeships offer an affordable alternative to a four-year degree, without resulting in a six-figure college loan.

With an "earn while you learn" model, apprenticeships combine related instruction and paid on-the-job training. On average, restaurant managers make between $50,000-$60,000 per year, providing employees with a pathway to the middle class.

What does the restaurant workforce currently look like?

Restaurants are the nation's second-largest private-sector employer. One in three American's get their first job in a restaurant. There are currently 15.3 million employees in the restaurant industry.

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Apprenticeship Videos

Apprenticeship by the Numbers


Program Partners


American Hotel and Lodging Association Foundation

U.S. Department of Labor: Office of Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship Updates

Our First Restaurant Manager Apprentice

Meet Cassidy, our first apprentice to enroll in the program.

Brinker International Commitment

Brinker International has committed to enroll apprentices, expressing a strong interest in offering their Team Members additional skills, management training and opportunities that will advance their careers.

Latest Apprenticeship Resources

Listen in on a webinar from our partners at MFHA to learn cultural insights and recommendations to better serve guests and communities while operating during COVID-19: "Insights for Building Effective Multicultural Teams during COVID-19"

Employer Success Story

Shakey's Pizza is committed to providing their employees with opportunities for advancement.

Get in Touch

Interested in getting involved with the Apprenticeship program?

Contact NRAEF

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