2020 National prostart invitational Cancelation

COVID-19 Update

We are deeply saddened to inform you that based on the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic and new strict guidelines by the CDC to not hold gatherings of more than 10 people for the next eight weeks, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) is canceling this year’s National ProStart Invitational (NPSI) and its ProStart Educator of Excellence Awards (EEA) scheduled to take place this May in Washington, D.C. 

Your safety and the safety and well-being of our ProStart students, educators and the many volunteers, judges and sponsors who make NPSI possible is the Foundation’s highest priority.  With this decision, our hearts especially go out to all the ProStart students and educators who have worked so hard for a chance to compete at the national level.  We understand this will be especially difficult for ProStart students who are leaving the program this year.

To reward those students who were planning to participate in this year’s NPSI, our team is busy working on creative ways to recognize them and celebrate their many accomplishments - we will be providing details on our plans with you soon.

For EEA, we plan to recognize this year’s winners at our ProStart Educator event in Las Vegas, NV scheduled to be held July 19 – 21.  A separate communication will be issued to the EEA nominees and their state coordinators with details on the event in the coming weeks.

Regarding existing hotel reservations for NPSI, please contact the Washington Hilton to cancel your room(s). The hotel’s cancelation policy allows for a full refund. Please also check with your air and/or ground transportation provider for their cancelation and refund policies.

This was a very difficult decision for us, and the Foundation along with our NPSI sponsors and supporters will deeply miss the opportunity to celebrate this year’s top ProStart students and educators. Your commitment to the ProStart Program and your long-standing support of the Foundation is greatly appreciated. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding during these challenging times, and please let Amy Saltzman, our ProStart Program Director (asaltzman@nraef.org) know if you have any questions or need assistance.

We look forward to welcoming you and your teams back to the 2021 National ProStart Invitational.


Rob Gifford
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

frequently asked questions

Will the NRAEF be able to reschedule the 2020 National ProStart Invitational?

Unfortunately, we are unable to reschedule the 2020 National ProStart Invitational.

  • NPSI brings together close to 1,000 competitors, teachers, judges and supporters. At this time, current CDC guidance is for groups no larger than 10 people to convene. As the situation continues to progress, we have no way of knowing when those restrictions will change.

  • Many hotels are unable to or are unwilling to book large events like NPSI as there is a strong possibility the event could be cancelled again, should CDC guidelines remain in place.

  • Given the many shelter in place directives at the state level, it is unlikely teams would have sufficient time and capabilities to practice together in advance of a rescheduled event.

  • Many of our student competitors and educators have summer obligations, and it would be difficult to find a date that works for everyone on such short notice.

Do I need to cancel my team’s registration?

No, the NRAEF staff will cancel all registrations.

I purchased a ticket for the awards dinner, will I get a refund?

Yes, we will be processing all refunds for ticket purchases between now and April 1. It may take 7 - 10 business days for the refund to appear on your card. Questions? Email prostart@nraef.org.

Are my hotel rooms refundable?

Yes, please contact Maryalice Beal at the Washington Hilton via email - maryalice.beal@hilton.com and copy prostart@nraef.org – with your cancelation request.

What about airfare refunds?

Please contact your chosen airline to discuss refund options. The NRAEF is unfortunately unable to provide support or reimbursement for any travel costs.

For some of our students, this would have been their second year competing. Does this mean they’re not eligible in 2021?

If those students are still enrolled in a ProStart program in your state for the 2020 – 2021 school year, we would consider them eligible to compete for the 2021 National ProStart Invitational.

What about the Educator of Excellence Awards?

The 2020 Educator of Excellence Awards will shift its focus to the July 19 – 21 event in Las Vegas. The national awardees will be announced during this event, with plenty of opportunities to celebrate our wonderful educators.

Will the NRAEF recognize/acknowledge teams that would have competed at NPSI?

We are working on a plan to celebrate and recognize the teams that would have competed at NPSI, and expect to have more information shortly.

We have not yet held our state competition but hope to proceed when we’re once again able to convene. Will the NRAEF recognize/acknowledge our winning teams too?

Yes, we will include your winning teams in any plans we have to celebrate and recognize our competitors.

Have other questions?

If you have other questions related to the 2020 National ProStart Invitational and/or Educator of Excellence Awards, please contact Amy Saltzman, our ProStart Program Director (asaltzman@nraef.org) or email the ProStart team at prostart@nraef.org.

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