WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and Oracle Hospitality present "A Look Inside the National ProStart Invitational," a report that showcases restaurant and culinary concepts developed by high school students who are enrolled in ProStart®, a two-year career and technical education program in secondary schools nationwide that teaches culinary arts and restaurant management skills and fundamentals.
Nearly 400 students who participated in this year's National ProStart Invitational – the largest industry-affiliated national culinary and restaurant management competition involving secondary school students in the nation – presented these concepts to a panel of industry judges. Based on qualitative data collected from participant-submitted materials at the Invitational, the NRAEF tracked methods, ingredients used, restaurant concepts and inclusion of technology and innovation. The curated data has been synthesized to determine core themes of the competition.
"My involvement with ProStart has been one of the most inspirational experiences of my career – being able to guide young people that have ideas and talent, and being part of a program that provides the scholarships and other support that they need to make hospitality a viable career path is incredibly rewarding," said Brett R. Smith, Senior Director, Food and Beverage Solutions Management, Oracle Hospitality. "This report gives us a window into what these students accomplished in high school, and a look into what they might accomplish in the future."
"The information gathered from this year's competition shows that our future industry leaders are thinking ahead," said Rob Gifford, Executive Vice President of the NRAEF. "Students are impressively cognizant of industry trends as they learn the skills they need to succeed in the restaurant and foodservice sector."
Some highlights from the findings:
- Seafood was the overwhelming favorite ingredient used for appetizers
- Standout ingredients included forbidden black rice, quinoa and game meats
- More than half of menus included dietary options that would satisfy vegetarian or gluten free preferences
- Almost half of teams presented a fast-casual restaurant concept
- Many concepts centered on farm-to-table cuisine incorporating locally sourced ingredients
- Several teams incorporated eco-conscious designs that included LED lightbulbs, recycled driftwood and outdoor patios with hydroponic gardens and aquaponics systems
"A Look Inside the National ProStart Invitational" and an accompanying infographic can be found at www.ChooseRestaurants.org/Oracle.
Oracle Hospitality provides comprehensive solutions that elevate guest experiences while streamlining operations with point of sale, kitchen and back office management and mobile technologies. Oracle Hospitality tools ensure that food and beverage operations with thousands of workstations or single property locations have the same ability to deliver brand loyalty and customer loyalty. As a sponsor of the ProStart program Oracle Hospitality is actively taking a role in empowering the next generation of hospitality.
Reaching nearly 140,000 students annually, ProStart is offered in more than 1,800 high schools and career and technical education centers in all states, Guam and Department of Defense Education Activity schools in Europe and the Pacific.
About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation:
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the 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. In 2016, the restaurant and foodservice industry is projected to comprise one million outlets and a workforce of 14.4 million employees, making it the nation's second largest private sector employer. For more information on the NRAEF, visit ChooseRestaurants.org.
About Oracle Hospitality:
Oracle Hospitality brings 35 years of experience in providing technology solutions to food and beverage operators. We provide hardware, software, and services that allow our customers to deliver exceptional guest experiences while maximizing profitability. Our solutions include integrated point-of-sale, loyalty, reporting and analytics, inventory and labor management, all delivered from the cloud to lower IT cost and maximize business agility. For more information about Oracle Hospitality, please visit www.Oracle.com/Hospitality.
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SOURCE National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation