LANSING, Mich., March 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Hundreds of students representing 20 schools, career and technical centers from across Mich. will meet in Frankenmuth March 12-13 for the annual Michigan ProStart® Competition, with half a million dollars of scholarship money at stake for top competitors. Hosted by the Michigan Restaurant Association's Educational Support Foundation (MRAESF), the student competition will take place at the Bavarian Inn from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on March 12, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 13. The event is free and open to the public to attend. Additional details are available at www.mraesf.org.
The winning teams in the culinary and management/entrepreneurship portions will represent Mich. in Charleston, S.C., from April 28-30, 2017, to compete against regional winners from across the country at the 16th Annual National ProStart® Invitational. More than $500,000 in culinary and foodservice scholarships are at stake for students representing the Great Lakes State.
"ProStart students represent the future of the restaurant and hospitality industry," said Justin Winslow, Michigan Restaurant Association President and CEO. "This Competition is an incredible opportunity for those students to demonstrate the skills they've learned through the ProStart program, and their passion for this industry. We are excited to see the results from countless hours of preparation throughout the school year."
According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurant industry is the nation's second-largest private sector employer, providing career opportunities for one in 10 working Americans. In Michigan, restaurants are projected to employ 465,100 people by 2026, which equates to 10.3 percent job growth or 43,600 jobs over 2016. Yet restaurant owners report recruiting and retaining employees as a challenge to their business. The ProStart Program is one answer to that challenge as it gives students interested in foodservice careers a head start by teaching culinary techniques and management skills through an industry-driven curriculum. Upon successful completion of the ProStart Program, students receive an industry-recognized certificate – and employers get well-prepared, enthusiastic employees.
On Sunday, March 12, students will compete in the ServSafe® "Jeopardy!" style knowledge bowl sponsored by the Van Eerden Foodservice Company. This question-and-answer event tests the participants' knowledge of critically important issues of food safety and sanitation. The culinary competition will also take place on Sunday and is sponsored by Sysco of Mich. This portion of the competition challenges students to execute perfect knife cuts, develop a three-course meal in one hour (using only two butane burners), and cost-out the meal for menu pricing – all while being evaluated by industry professionals on their sanitation, teamwork, organization, and taste.
On Monday, March 13, teams will complete in the management/entrepreneurship portion of the competition, sponsored by Gordon Food Service. Students demonstrate their knowledge of the industry by developing a restaurant proposal, delivering a verbal presentation, and applying critical thinking skills to challenges that restaurant managers face in day-to-day operations. Also on Monday is the nutrition competition component. Designed to encourage the creation of healthy menu items for restaurants, students will create a menu and prepare a three-course meal that meets the National Restaurant Association's Kids' Live Well and USDA menu criteria. New to the Competition this year, menu design and table top design competitions will also be held on Monday.
Industry professionals as well as leading college and university instructors observe and rate all portions of the competition. Additional ProStart Competition sponsors include: Coca-Cola, Michael's & Associates, US Foods, and Valley City Linen.
Schools Participating in the Michigan Competition:
Bay-Arenac ISD Career Center
Boyne City High School
Branch Area Careers Center
Calhoun Area Career Center
Capital Area Career Center
Careerline Tech Center
DCTC @ Riverview Community High
Gaylord High School
Gratiot Isabella Technical Education Center
LISD TECH Center
Oakland Schools Technical Campus Southeast
Oakland Schools Technical Campus Northwest
Petoskey High School
Plymouth-Canton Educational Park
Saginaw Career Complex
South West Washtenaw Consortium (SWWC)
Tuscola Technology Center
West Shore ESD
ProStart is a nationwide, two-year high school program that unites the classroom and industry to develop the best and brightest talent into tomorrow's restaurant and foodservice leaders. In Michigan, 68 high schools and career centers use the ProStart curriculum with 5,000 students participating. For more information about ProStart, contact Amanda Smith at 800-968-9668, visit michiganrestaurant.org/prostart, or find us on Twitter and Facebook.
About the Michigan Restaurant Association
The Michigan Restaurant Association (MRA) is the recognized leader of Michigan's hospitality industry, providing essential services to the foodservice community. Founded in 1921, the MRA represents nearly 4,500 Michigan foodservice establishments. The industry plays an integral role in Michigan's economy, employing more than 421,000 people and creating $15.4 billion in annual sales.
SOURCE Michigan Restaurant Association