Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship (HSRA)

Take your employees from kitchen job to career path.

Why Apprenticeship?

Registered Apprenticeship is an employer-driven model that combines on-the-job learning with related classroom instruction to increase skill level and economic mobility. Apprenticeships are a proven solution for companies to recruit, train, and retain highly skilled workers—and it is a way to put employees on a career path that will encourage them to stay and advance in hospitality-sector jobs.

Benefits to participating in the registered apprenticeship program:

Technical Assistance and Support

NRAEF can help you successfully customize your program to align with national industry standards. Connect with a national network of expertise, customer service, and support at no charge.

National Credential

Graduates of Registered Apprenticeship programs receive a national, industry-recognized credential.

Business Performance

Apprenticeship programs pay for themselves through reduced turnover, resulting in lower training costs and higher profitability.

National Recognition and Partnership

As part of the work led by NRAEF, companies will be able to navigate and promote apprenticeship as an industry initiative.

Quality Standards

A registered apprenticeship means the program has met national and independent standards for quality and rigor. Registration tells prospective employees, customers, and suppliers that you invest in your workforce and that you believe your employees are your most important asset.

Federal and State Resources

Companies and apprentices can access funding and other resources to help support their Registered Apprenticeship programs, including tax credits, programs for veterans, and financial aid. Find more resources at the U.S. Department of Labor: Office of Apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship by the numbers


Employer commitments for 2022


Retention rate

Jobs in the Hospitality Sector

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship (HSRA)?

A. In the fall of 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) awarded the NRAEF a $1.8 million contract to develop the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship (HSRA) – the first-ever apprenticeship program specifically for the restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality industries. The USDOL officially approved and signed the standards for HSRA in June 2017, specifying the requirements necessary for employers to offer apprenticeships to their employees. In 2020, USDOL awarded NRAEF a new 9.8 million dollar contract to expand HSRA. 

Q. What are the benefits of apprenticeship in the restaurant industry?

A. Apprenticeship programs are proven to reduce turnover costs, increase productivity and create a more skilled, diverse and competitive workforce.

Apprenticeships offer an affordable alternative to a four-year degree, without resulting in a six-figure college loan.

With an “earn while you learn” model, apprenticeships combine related instruction and paid on-the-job training. 

Q. What does the restaurant workforce currently look like?

A. Restaurants are the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer. One in three American’s get their first job in a restaurant. There are currently 15.3 million employees in the restaurant industry.

Q. Who is the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation?

A. As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s mission of service to the public is dedicated to enhancing the industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement efforts.

NRAEF programs include: ProStart® – a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready – partnering with community based organizations to provide opportunity youth and previously incarcerated individuals 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 Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship project – a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association providing a hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry.

Contact the Restaurant & Hospitality Leadership Center

Are you ready to put your employees on the path to success and advancement?