The restaurant industry employs 14 million people – about one in 10 working Americans. The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) exists to enhance the restaurant industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. The NRAEF works to attract, develop and retain a career-oriented professional workforce for the restaurant industry.
Founded in 1987, the NRAEF is the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association. The NRAEF impacts the prosperity of the restaurant industry by developing a stronger workforce and building the next generation of industry leaders. The Foundation’s educational initiatives provide culinary, management, food safety and employability skills training to build a pipeline of talent for the growing industry.
The Foundation’s cornerstone program – ProStart – is a two year, nationwide program that develops the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice leaders. ProStart serves more than 118,000 students at over 1,700 high schools in all 50 states, the Territory of Guam and at Department of Defense Education Activity schools in Europe and Asia. ProStart trains students academically in the classroom and experientially on the job.
Additionally, the NRAEF awards scholarships to students and educators to provide continued industry education. Since 1997, the NRAEF has awarded more than $18 million in scholarships.
Contributions to the NRAEF ensure the continued growth of our industry by directly supporting future chefs, managers, operators and suppliers. Whether it's through your support of the ProStart® Program, the NRAEF Scholarship Program, special events, or your philanthropic gifts, your donations are essential to our success.
Meet the Foundation's senior leadership