2024 ProStart Professional Development registration is now open. Register today!

ProStart® is a two-year, industry-backed culinary arts and restaurant management program for high school students. The program reaches approximately 165 thousand students in over 1,800 schools in all 50 states, Washington, DC, and the Territory of Guam. Over the past 23 years, more than 1 million students have participated in ProStart.

ProStart is taught with a two-level curriculum that:

  • Integrates practical skill sets
  • Allows students to become familiar with restaurants and foodservice
  • Exposes students to innovative career opportunities
  • Provides tools and skills needed to become a successful industry leader

An Industry-Driven Program to Develop Industry Leaders

ProStart students finish the program ready to join the workforce and make an immediate impact in restaurants and foodservice. ProStart students are closely connected to industry experts through guest speakers, class mentors, tours of local facilities, hosting student competitions, and more – all to ensure real-world experience is brought directly to the classroom.

Work and Learn

While classroom experience is necessary to learn the foundational culinary and management skills, nothing beats real-life experience gained by working in the industry. ProStart students learn how to be an industry professional through hands-on work under the direction of a mentor. Mentors help students make the connection between their present performance and their future career. Students also learn the importance of arriving on time prepared for work, teamwork and accountability.

ProStart® students in high-school programs

Schools that participate in ProStart

States with ProStart programs, plus Guam & Washington, DC


ProStart State Coordinators can access resources to help support the ProStart program in their state.


Learn more about how to implement ProStart in your school, and access related resources.


Access ProStart resources for students, including exams, Certificate of Achievement management, scholarships, and the ProStart Virtual Lounge.


Choose to be a key player in the future of this industry, where you can inspire young people to explore career pathways.

National ProStart Invitational

The National ProStart Invitational (NPSI) is the country’s premier secondary school competition focused on restaurant management and culinary arts.

NPSI 2024 will be held in on April 26–28 at the Marriott Baltimore Waterfront, Baltimore, Maryland .

The Rachael Ray Foundation’s ProStart Grow Grant

ProStart high schools across the country have the chance to win grants to build or grow their classrooms with help from The Rachael Ray Foundation. Learn more and read about the 2023 awardees.

Contact Us

Interested in finding out more about ProStart, or looking to connect with someone about getting involved in a specific program? Please use the form below and we’ll connect with you, quickly!

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