|(Tallahassee, Fla.) – High school students from Gainesville and Tampa, who are enrolled in the Florida ProStart program, tested their mettle in a sophisticated, real-world culinary and business management competition focused on the restaurant and foodservice sector. Held April 29-May 1 in Dallas, Texas, the National ProStart Invitational challenged student teams from secondary schools across the nation to create a three-course meal, while corresponding teams presented business proposals for an original restaurant concept.
The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association’s Educational Foundation is thrilled to announce Gainesville’s Eastside High School placed second in the nationwide competition. The school’s management team developed a business proposal for opening and operating a restaurant, and were asked to solve the types of daily challenges faced by restaurant managers. The team was evaluated by an expert panel of industry judges. Tampa’s A.P. Leto High School participated in the culinary portion of the competition, showcasing their creative abilities through the preparation of an appetizer, entrée and dessert in 60 minutes.
“We are so proud of our students who are incredibly talented, passionate about hospitality and worked tirelessly all year,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “They are Florida’s all-stars and certainly proved they can compete on the national stage. We are glad to support these students, the future of our industry.”
Participating teams were as follows:
Eastside High School’s Management Team
Leto High School’s Culinary Team
In total, there are 238 schools who participate in the Florida ProStart program, a program crafted by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). ProStart unites industry and secondary school classrooms to train students with the skills that help them achieve long-term and rewarding careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Research indicates that students and educators agree that ProStart is effective in teaching culinary skills as well as restaurant management theory and practice, including critical employability skills such as teamwork, communication and professional behavior. 70 percent of students enrolled in ProStart programs indicate they plan to pursue post-secondary education.
About the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association