From Learning to Leadership: National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Issues 2022 Impact Report

Washington, D.C. – March 9, 2023In 2022, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and its programs supported nearly 170,000 people with the training and skills they need to be successful in the restaurant industry.

NRAEF 2022 Impact Report cover with a photo of Chef LaKisha HunterThe Foundation’s newly released annual 2022 Impact Report provides a detailed overview of the NRAEF’s programs, fund-raising efforts, supporting companies and organizations, board governance, and testimonials by program participants. NRAEF programs include:

  • ProStart® 165,000 high school students at 1,850 schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Guam. ProStart students receive training in culinary arts and restaurant management. Top students compete at the National ProStart Invitational in Washington, D.C.  
  • Scholarships – $1.2 million in scholarships was awarded to more than 280 students pursuing higher education in the restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality industry.  
  • Restaurant & Hospitality Leadership Center – More than 1,800 restaurant workers participated in apprenticeships for Restaurant Manager, Kitchen Manager and Line Cook.  
  • Military – More than 200 active-duty military service members completed management and restaurant training at The Culinary Institute of America and the National Restaurant Association Show through the Foundation’s military programs 
  • Restaurant Ready/HOPES – 1,500 people have received first-job skills and training through the Restaurant Ready program. Over 750 justice-involved individuals are enrolled in the Hospitality Opportunities for People Re-Entering Society (HOPES) program.

Featured on the cover of the 2022 NRAEF Impact Report is Chef Lakisha Hunter, a mentor and trainer through the Foundation’s HOPES program. Hunter was a gang leader in Chicago when she found her passion for culinary arts through the Foundation’s ProStart program. Today, she is the founder and owner of That Jerk Spot LLC, a catering service and food truck business where she trains individuals with previous justice involvement who are enrolled in the Foundation’s HOPES program at Chicago’s Lawrence Hall.   

“People are the heart and soul of the restaurant industry. This report shows that 2022 was a landmark year in our mission to attract people from all backgrounds to work in restaurants and help them build a sustainable future,” said Rob Gifford, president of the NRAEF. “We remain grateful for our many generous supporters, who partnered with us in 2022 to advance the people who make our industry possible.”

About The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) 

As the supporting philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF’s charitable mission includes enhancing the industry’s training and education, career development, and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to Attract, Empower, and Advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce.NRAEF programs include: ProStart® a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready/HOPES – Partnering with community based organizations to provide people with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees; and the Restaurant & Hospitality Leadership Center (RHLC) – accredited apprenticeship programs designed to build the careers of service professionals. For more information on the NRAEF, Click here for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s 2022 Annual Impact Report.


Hannah Oliver

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