You are here

The National ProStart Invitational Comes to Washington, DC May 8-10!

April 24, 2019 to May 10, 2019

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 best culinary and restaurant management programs. RAMW and our members are delighted to welcome NPSI to Washington, DC this year, and for the next three years, where our industry and ProStart students and chef instructors can be part of the action. LEARN MORE

ProStart is Creating Culinary and Hospitality Pathways for High School Students in our Region
RAMW launched ProStart in the Fall of 2018, after a 10-year hiatus, to build on industry pipelines. ProStart® is a nationally recognized program that has been implemented in over 30 states nationwide. Currently, 300 students are in ProStart in DC Public Schools: Ballou High School (Ward 8), Theodore Roosevelt High School, and Roosevelt STAY (Ward 4). Students in these culinary arts programs will gain hands-on experience both in and out of the classroom to prepare them for careers in DC’s rapidly growing foodservice industry. 
In addition to learning through the program’s rigorous curriculum, the students will be integrated into the industry before they graduate from high school through mentorship and internship programs, giving them a head start on a path toward future employment.

We Need Industry to Help Welcome NPSI to DC. Here is How You Can Support and Get Involved


  • One (1) judge needed for Restaurant Management Operation:
    • Competition judge will review restaurant concept layout and floorplan, interior and décor, proposed organizational chart, evaluate presentation skills, and ask questions relevant to the hypothetical operations of the proposed restaurant concept to gauge students’ depth of knowledge.
  • One (1) judge needed for Restaurant Management Menu:
    • Competition judge will evaluate how well the students’ menu and item descriptions match their concept, judge their menu presentation and food photography, assess presentation skills, and ask questions relevant to the menu to gauge students’ depth of knowledge
  • Two (2) judges needed for Restaurant Management Critical Thinking:
    • Competition judge will review students’ teamwork and presentation skills. This judging category focuses on four specific categories. The vacant categories are HR & Staffing and Safety & Sanitation. These judges will ask a few questions about hypothetical HR & Staffing or Safety & Sanitation scenarios to evaluate students’ depth of knowledge in this area.


  • Wednesday, May 8th
    • Mandatory Judges Training - 2:15pm-4:30pm.
    • Opening Ceremony and Reception - 5:00pm-8:30pm
  • Thursday, May 9th (ALL DAY)
    • Judge competitions – 8:00am-5:30pm
  • Friday, May 10th (HALF DAY)
    • Judge Competitions - 9:00am-3:00pm


  • Wednesday, May 8th - 2:00pm-4:00pm
    • Representatives needed to educate and share information about the industry
    • Students engage in brief conversations with representatives to learn about the industry


  • Wednesday May 8th - 2:00pm-4:00pm
    • Students will have an opportunity to ask questions and engage in conversations with business representatives.
    • Student interactions with representatives are timed for roughly 3-5 minutes in length, before students move to the next representative to learn more about the industry


Wednesday, May 8th, 10:00am-8:30pm

  • Join us at the 2019 National ProStart Student Invitational at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington DC (FREE); 2500 Calvert St NW, Washington, DC 20008
  • Take part in the Business and Education Expo + Speed Networking where students will speak with business representatives to learn more about the industry
  • Meet us in the Coca-Cola lounge and experience live demonstrations and sample products
  • Come to the Opening Ceremony and welcome students, educators, family, and friends to the Invitational
  • Enjoy an evening reception with judges, donors, coordinators, and state restaurant association executives at NRAEF Headquarters

Thursday, May 9th, 8:00am-5:30 pm

  • Let the competition begin! Stop in and watch students put their Culinary and Restaurant Management skills to the test
  • Meet us in the Coca-Cola lounge to hear from Founding Farmers on “An Exercise in Sustainability” and Get Twisted with Auntie Anne
  • Share-A-Coke with ProStart where Kwame Onwuachi, Executive Chef/Creator – Kith & Kin, Andrew Dana, CEO/Founder – Timber Pizza & Call Your Mother Deli, and Rose Previte, Owner – Maydan & Compass Rose will talk about “Entrepreneurship in the Real”
  • Join us in the Coca-Cola lounge for Cupcake Challenge with Nicole Silva

Friday, May 10th, 8:00am-9:00pm

  • The final day of competitions
  • Get Twisted with Auntie Anne’s in the Coca-Cola lounge
  • Share-A-Coke with ProStart where the discussion will focus on “Exploring Unique Careers in the Restaurant & Foodservice Industry” with Kristin Bitter, Vice President Industry Affairs – The Coca-Cola Company, Chef Jerome Grant, Executive Chef – National African American History Museum, National Museum of the American Indian, and Kevin Rettle, Vice President, Global Offer Development – Sodexo, Inc.
  • Check out the winners at the Awards Gala

WANT TO GET INVOLVED?  Contact Trinita Mason, RAMW ProStart Coordinator today.