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The National ProStart Invitational

The National ProStart Invitational® (NPSI) is the country’s premier secondary school competition focused on restaurant management and culinary arts. Annually, nearly 400 student competitors put their skills to the test in front of industry leaders, NRAEF Trustees, state restaurant associations, and family and friends - all with hopes of earning coveted scholarships from the nation’s premier culinary and restaurant management programs.

NPSI is the finale of a nationwide series of state competitions hosted by partner state restaurant associations. For each respective competition – culinary or management – students must impress judges from leading industry corporations, colleges, and universities with skills they’ve developed through ProStart.

2018 Executive Experience

2018 NPSI Culinary and Management Competition Schedules
Hotel Information

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Providence, RI welcomes NPSI 2018

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How the Competition Works

The National ProStart Invitational is composed of two distinct competitions – management and culinary – that showcase the most important skills needed on either side of the restaurant and foodservice industry. For each respective competition students must impress judges from leading industry corporations, colleges, and universities with skills they’ve developed through ProStart.


Management teams develop a proposal for the next promising restaurant concept and present it to a panel of industry judges. Next, their problem solving skills are tested as they quickly solve challenges faced by managers daily.


The culinary competition highlights each team’s creative abilities through the preparation of a three-course meal in 60 minutes, using only two butane burners, and without access to running water or electricity. There is no room for error as they are evaluated on taste, skill, teamwork, safety and sanitation.


The top five teams from the culinary and management competitions are awarded generous educational scholarships to help further their careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry. In 2017, more than $1 million in scholarships was awarded to students by the NRAEF and leading academic institutions.
In addition, all competitors are encouraged to take full advantage of competing at the National ProStart Invitational by networking with other students and industry professionals in attendance.

2017 National ProStart Invitational Winners

First Place – Culinary 
Team Ohio from Polaris Career Center

First Place – Restaurant Management
Team Michigan from Saginaw Career Complex

Second Place – Culinary 
Team Guam from Okkodo High School

Second Place – Restaurant Management
Team South Carolina from Anderson Career & Technology Center

Third Place – Culinary 
Team Texas from Rockwall High School

Third Place – Restaurant Management
Team Maryland from George Washington Carver Center for Arts & Technology

 Fourth Place – Culinary 
Team Kansas from Olathe Public School

Fourth Place – Restaurant Management
Team Missouri from Parkway North High School

Fifth Place – Culinary 
Team South Carolina from Anderson Career & Technology Center

Fifth Place – Restaurant Management
Team Connecticut from Wilbur Cross High School