The National ProStart Invitational

Save the Date - May 8-10, 2019 in Washington, DC

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.

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 2018, $200,000 in scholarships was awarded to the top five culinary arts and restaurant management teams.
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.


2018 National ProStart Invitational Winners

  1. Herndon Career Center in Raytown, Missouri
  2. Rockwall High School in Rockwall, Texas
  3. Anderson Career and Technology Center in Williamston, South Carolina
  4. Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne, New Jersey
  5. Oakland Schools Technical Campus Northwest in Village of Clarkston, Michigan
Restaurant Management:
  1. Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven, Connecticut
  2. North Buncombe High School in Weaverville, North Carolina
  3. Wilson Central High School in Lebanon, Tennessee
  4. Carver Middle High School in Carver, Massachusetts
  5. Grandview High School in Aurora, Colorado