Feeding Dreams. Building Futures.

Wisconsin ProStart®

ProStart® is a nationwide curriculum and mentoring program designed to introduce high school students to the skills needed for careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry. In Wisconsin, the program is available at more than 100 high schools and trains more than 6,300 students annually.

Requirements to become a ProStart school include:

  • Use the Foundations of Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts textbooks as part of curriculum     
  • ProStart Instructor will need to become ServSafe® Certified after the first year of teaching
  • 210 or 213 License from the Department of Public Instruction preferred but not required
  • Educator must complete NRAEF (National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation) survey in the fall of every school year
Alex Vernon

For more information, contact:

Alex Vernon | ProStart Program Coordinator


Benefits of ProStart

  • Practical and hands-on experience in the classroom
  • College-prep classes offer transfer credit and advanced placement opportunities
  • Access to scholarships and funding for post-secondary education
  • Competitions to challenge culinary and management skills
  • Employment options build connections with industry professionals
  • Opportunity to earn the National Certificate of Achievement

Donate to WRAEF

ProStart Classroom Training


Mentor a Student

Student internships can cover culinary and management techniques, business aspects of the industry, competition preparation, and more.

  • Provide real-world experience to an enthusiastic workforce
  • Enhance supervisory skills while providing students insight and feedback
  • Gain access to a qualified, interested pool of employees
  • Create positive public relations – mentors often receive recognition in press
  • Make a lasting impact on students’ lives
ProStart Invitational

Recruit from ProStart

Hire current ProStart students and program graduates in your business.

These students have committed themselves to the industry and are armed with the foundational skills for success in a variety of foodservice and hospitality management roles.
ProStart Classroom

Connect with Classrooms

When the industry unites with the classroom, students benefit from the expertise and experience.

  • Be a guest speaker
  • Conduct a hands-on demo
  • Offer a fieldtrip to your place of business
  • Donate products or equipment
ProStart WR Cover

Advocate for Students

Your support of the Wisconsin ProStart program can help in a variety of ways:

  • Directly impact the ProStart program at the state or local level
  • Fund ProStart scholarships
  • Provide key training to build a quality workforce
  • Support student travel to regional and national competitions
  • Enhance the industry’s image through media outreach
  • And more!


Curious about ProStart? Wondering how to start it at your school? Email ProStart Coordinator Alex Vernon at avernon@wirestaurant.org for more information!

Our ProStart Teacher’s Handbook was created by current ProStart teachers and the ProStart Coordinator, and covers many aspects of the ProStart program, from implementation to SLOs, recipes, sample syllabi, and so much more. Available as a hard copy or a pdf, contact ProStart Coordinator Alex Vernon at avernon@wirestaurant.org if you would like a copy.



Each summer we offer a Teacher Training for ProStart educators and those interested in the program in Wisconsin. This one-day workshop offers presentations, demonstrations, resource sharing, the opportunity to network with fellow ProStart instructors, and much more!

ProStart Teacher Training is sponsored by:

  • Society Insurance
  • Wisconsin Beef Council
  • Culver's Foundation



The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation offers week-long Summer Institutes at post-secondary institutions throughout the country. There are four levels of trainings, during which participants: 

  • Earn restaurant/foodservice educator certification
  • Learn from faculty composed of nationally recognized content experts
  • Network among peers
  • Tour restaurant and foodservice facilities
  • Receive classroom materials

More information, including dates, locations, and scholarship information, can be found at www.chooserestaurants.org.


Culinary Competition

Teams of four students have one hour to prepare a three-course meal and are judged on knife skills, teamwork, sanitation, safety, menu presentation, and taste.

Please contact Alex Vernon if you have any questions.



Management Competition

Teams of four students develop a business proposal for a new restaurant concept, create posters, answer critical thinking questions and present their concept to judges.

The ProStart Invitational draws media attention while providing young professionals with industry experience. Winners receive scholarship dollars and a trip to the National ProStart Invitational.


Recipe for Excellence

Sponsored by the WRAEF and University of Wisconsin-Stout, teams of two high school students prepare an entrée while being judged on teamwork, knife skills, sanitation and taste.

Learn More

"They really provided us with endless opportunities to pursue and make our dreams a reality."

Claire was interested in the Culinary Arts & Management program through ProStart. This program is available at more than 100 Wisconsin high schools and trains more than 6,300 students annually!