ProStart NewsBites August 2021

2021-2022 ProStart OpportunitiesProStart Logo 2012

The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Foundation (FRLAEF) offers events, activities, monetary support as well as teacher and student support for your ProStart program. The FRLAEF believes participation in these activities can lead to a richer learning environment for you and your students.  Events and opportunities are listed throughout the August NewsBites below.

It is our intent to host all of the events outlined below.  However, an event may be canceled or adjusted due to Covid.

Grilled Cheese + Mac & Cheese Competition–DEADLINE TO APPLY IS FRIDAY

The Grilled Cheese and Mac & Cheese competitions will take place during the 2021 FRLA Show at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando on Sunday, September 19, and Monday, September 20.

These two different competitions will feature ProStart schools competing against each other.  In both competitions, teams will compete against each other to create the most creative, flavorful and cooked correctly Grilled Cheese or Mac & Cheese.  The Grilled Cheese Competition will be held on Sunday (September 19) while the Mac & Cheese event will take place on Monday (September 20).

Each day a panel of ACF judges will vote on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.  The prize rewards are tied to the judges votes.  In addition there will be a People’s Choice award. Attendees vote for People’s Choice by placing their ticket in their favorite team’s cooking station.  Attendees must purchase tickets exclusively for this event to vote.  Tickets can be bought on site for $5 each.  There are no prizes associated with the People’s Choice award.  If you are interested in competing, please complete the link below no later then August 6.

CLICK HERE to apply to compete in one or both competitions.

Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show

The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show will take place Sunday, September 19 and Monday, September 20, 2021 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. ProStart instructors are welcome to attend free of charge both days of the Show. Below are the guidelines for complimentary student attendees.


ProStart students may attend the 2021 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show as long as the guidelines below are followed.  Failure to follow these guidelines could result in expulsion from the Show floor. There is alcohol on the show floor.  Please keep this in mind when selecting your students.

•Attending students must be at least 16 years of age.  Students must provide proof of age when they pick up their name badges.
•There must be one chaperone for every 5 students.  The chaperones must be within eye-sight of the students.  Chaperones must be at least 21 years old.
•No more than a total of 10 students may attend from one school.
•No more than 5 students and 1 chaperone may walk the show floor together. If all 10 students and 2 chaperones walk the show floor together, show management may ask them to leave the show floor.
•Students must be dressed in business attire or chef attire.

REGISTER (Use this registration if you would like to attend with students.)

ProStart students and chaperones may attend the show one of the two days (Sunday or Monday).  There is no fee to attend.  To register, complete THIS SPREADSHEET and return to  The spreadsheets will be processed as they are received.  Only a limited number of student spreadsheets will be processed.  Once that number is reached no more spreadsheets will be processed. Spreadsheets must be received no later than August 31, 2021.

TEACHER REGISTRATION FOR SHOW (Use this registration if you would like to attend without students.)

CLICK HERE to receive your complimentary registration. Use Discount Code FRLA.

ProStart School Classification

At the beginning of each school year the FRLAEF asks schools to commit to their level of participation in the ProStart program. There are three levels of participation: PREMIER, FULL and CURRICULUM ONLY.


The FRLAEF will determine which schools qualify as 2021-2022 Premier schools based on the benchmarks the school met during the 2020-2021  school year. In order to be classified as a Premier school this year, the program must have done the required work during the previous school year.


Schools that have not earned the Premier level for the upcoming school year may choose between the Full and Curriculum Only classification.


The FRLAEF will send an email to all ProStart schools containing classification details including which level of classification a school may achieve based on their 2020-2021 participation data.

Please read through the details of the classification carefully to determine if you will be able to meet the requirements before committing. In order to be classified at any level, you must have and be using both the Level One and Level Two Foundations textbooks.

If the FRLAEF does not receive your commitment form by September 24, 2021, the FRLAEF will assume your school is a Curriculum Only program. This is an ANNUAL contract.  The FRLAEF does provide a stipend for schools that return the form committing to either Premier or Full.

Mini Grants

The FRLAEF is offering $95,000 in Mini Grant funding to Premiere and Full Florida ProStart schools this year. There is no fixed amount for individual grant awards, but to assist your planning, the average award last year was $700. A special thank you to Ecolab for their generous $15,000 contribution to our 2021 Mini Grant fund!

There are two prerequisites for grant funding: 1) you must currently teach the ProStart curriculum, and 2) you must be a Premier or Full ProStart school.

The FRLAEF Board of Directors prefers to fund items that will make your classroom self-sustaining. If a piece of equipment is requested, it should be something that will be used frequently throughout the year.

The application deadline is Friday, September 24, 2021

CLICK HERE for the online Mini Grant application.

GRANT AWARD NOTIFICATION: The FRLAEF Board will meet in early October to determine awards.

FRLAEF Regional Workshops–Registration Now Open!

The FRLAEF is offering six Regional Workshops this fall. ProStart teachers may bring up to five students to each event. There is no fee to attend a Regional Workshop. Lunch and chef coats will be given to all participating ProStart students at each event. Travel to and from Regional Workshops is on your own.

If Regional Workshops reach maximum capacity prior to the deadline, all subsequent schools will be placed on the waiting list. Most events begin at 8:30 am and conclude no later than 2:00 pm.

The UCF at Rosen School of Hospitality events are scheduled for September 21, October 19 and November 16.  We are in the process of finalizing the dates for the events at Keiser University.  When all events are finalized, we will send a Regional Workshop email along with the updated registration link.

Please do not register for more than one event. We only have space for first-time attendees at each event, so register for the event you are most interested in attending. If you are interested in another event, let us know and we will send you the link for the Waiting List.

CLICK HERE for the Regional Workshop page with details and registrations links for each event.

Former ProStart Student to Appear on Guy’s Grocery Games!

Jada Vidal, former Riverview High School ProStart student, will appear on Guy’s Grocery Games during the show airing on September 1.

Her ProStart teacher Todd Jent said, “Jada was a standout student, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer person.   She exhibited talent beyond her years and I’m very confident she will go far in life.  Jada was one of those kids to come through our program that raise the bar for other students.”

Jada also won the VooDoo Chef High School Recipe Challenge in 2018 and a $10,000 scholarship to Keiser University. She is pictured here with her scholarship check from that competition. She went on to study Culinary Arts at Keiser University. Since then she has worked as a line cook at Haven, part of the Bern’s Steakhouse group. She has plans to start a pop-up dinner series company under her own brand name after her Guy’s Grocery Games episode airs.

Picture note–from left: Erik Youngs, VooDoo Chef; Laura Rumer, FRLAEF; Jada Vidal, ProStart student; Mike Moensch, Keiser University.

Extreme ProStart Kitchen Makeover

The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Foundation (FRLAEF) is pleased to announce it will be providing one kitchen remodel grant to a Florida ProStart high school.  In order to be eligible for the grant, you must be a Premier ProStart program and teaching the ProStart curriculum during the upcoming 2021-2022 school year.

The FRLAEF is investing $50,000 into one Premier Florida ProStart school to provide much needed funds to renovate a kitchen facility.  These funds are for use in a ProStart class only.  Use of this funding to enhance programs outside of the ProStart curriculum is prohibited.

Premier ProStart schools will receive the application in a separate email.

APPLICATION DEADLINE:                   September 24, 2021


ProStart Culinary Team Competitions

The 21st Annual ProStart Culinary Team Competitions will take place Saturday, March 5–Sunday, March 6, 2022 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando.

On Saturday, March 5, half of the Culinary Teams and Management Teams will compete along with all Edible Centerpiece teams. On Sunday, March 6, the remaining Culinary and Management teams will compete along with all of the Waiter’s Relay Teams. The competition will be followed by an awards dinner at the Rosen Plaza Hotel.

STIPEND FOR COMPETING SCHOOLS   The FRLAEF will provide stipends to offset the cost of participating in the event. Participating schools will receive $250 per event in which they compete.

RULES  The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) has not released the rules for the Culinary and Management Competitions.  Since Florida’s Culinary and Management Competitions mirror the national rules, we cannot release Florida’s competition rules until NRAEF releases the national rules.  The Waiters Relay and the Edible Centerpiece competitions are unique events to Florida.

HOTEL  The Rosen Plaza Hotel will be the host site for the 2022 ProStart Culinary Team Competitions.  The room rate at the Rosen Plaza is $132 per night.

To reserve hotel rooms contact the Rosen Plaza at 800-627-8258 and reference the FRLAEF ProStart Competition 2022.  The deadline to make hotel reservations is early February 2022. Do not wait to book your rooms!  Please book your room now. You can always adjust your reservation as the event gets closer.

PARTICIPATION  CLICK HERE for the competition application. The application deadline is Friday, October 8, 2021. Applicants will be notified their status by Friday, October 15, 2021.

Hospitality Industry Internships

The Hospitality Industry Internship (HII) provides the opportunity for Florida ProStart & HTMP instructors to work in a foodservice/lodging establishment for at least 40 hours. Once the required paperwork has been processed, the participant will receive a personal check for $600.

To qualify for an HII, the instructor must teach the ProStart/HTMP curriculum during the 2021-2022 school year. If you are already employed at a restaurant or hotel, you MAY NOT use that site for your internship. The restaurant/hotel must be a new work experience for you, not somewhere you have worked before or used as an HII internship location.

The applicant must secure a position at a foodservice or lodging facility where a minimum of 40 hours of hands-on experience is guaranteed. The host location may pay the recipient but is not required to do so.

The FRLAEF will award 11 HII’s this school year on a first-come, first-served basis. So apply NOW! Work experience may begin once the applicant receives an award notification from the FRLAEF.

CLICK HERE to apply.

NRAEF Data Collection (Fall Survey)

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) will continue its ProStart Data Collection this year. The survey is managed by NRAEF.  Be on the lookout for the email in the fall.  We will also let you know when the emails are sent out.

Once you complete the survey, the FRLAEF will send you an email to request $350 worth of free foodsafety materials. This is on a first-come, first served basis, so complete your NRAEF survey as soon as possible.  The FRLAEF will not send you foodsafety materials unless you request them.  Please do not forget to request the materials after completing the survey.

Salute to Excellence Awards Dinner

The Salute to Excellence Awards will take place on Sunday, March 6, 2022 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando. The awards dinner will recognize all ProStart Competition, Pineapple Award, Scholarship recipients and Hospitality Excellence Awardees. Registration will begin in January 2022.

ProStart instructors will have the opportunity to recognize one student during the awards dinner with a Hospitality Excellence Award. These students will be called on stage during the awards dinner and recognized with a certificate.

All ProStart instructors may receive a complimentary ticket to the awards dinner. Hospitality Excellence Award students receive two complimentary tickets, one for them and one for a guest.

Complimentary Foodsafety Materials

Each Premier and Full ProStart program is eligible for free ServSafe or SafeStaff materials.  To ensure you get the materials you need, you must notify us of your needs.  Once we receive your ProStart Classification paperwork, you can order up to $350 of ServSafe/SafeStaff materials. Click here for the price list. Email Amy Parker to place your order–you do not need to fill out the form. Requests are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

The FRLAEF will not send you foodsafety materials unless you request them.  Please do not forget to request the materials.

Complimentary ProStart Scantrons

The FRLAEF will distribute over $25,000 worth of free ProStart Exam Scantrons to Premier and Full ProStart schools during the 2021-2022 school year. Once a school has turned in their ProStart Classification paperwork, email Amy Parker to let her know how many ProStart Exam Scantrons you need. Requests are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Complimentary ServSuccess Materials

ServSuccess was introduced last year by the National Restaurant Association. It is a stackable foodservice industry credential. The entry level certification is Certified Restaurant Professional (CRP). In the perfect world (which we do not live in), the COA will unlock the CRP. We do intend to submit the CRP for DOE’s 2022-2023 CAPE list. Individuals must have 400 hours of industry experience along with the ServSafe exam to be eligible to sit for the CRP. No training is required but five modules are offered.

If you would like to take the courses and/or the exam, email Amy Parker to let her know and she will get you signed up for free!

The link below will provide you with additional information on CRP.

Congratulations to Emmanuelle Suarez, ProStart teacher at Lake Worth High School, and Kim Westrom, ProStart teacher at Port Charlotte High School for being the first Florida ProStart teachers to earn their CRP Certification!


The FRLAEF will award $44,000 in scholarships during the 2021-2022 school year. These scholarships will be awarded during the Salute to Excellence Awards in the Spring. The scholarship application will be available in January.

ProStart Teacher Training Institute

The FRLAEF will be conducting two Teacher Training events during summer 2022. Training will be held at the Keiser University Sarasota campus and at UCF Rosen in Orlando. Both events will begin on Tuesday evening and conclude at Friday lunch.


The FRLAEF will cover the cost of all Florida ProStart instructors who will be teaching the ProStart curriculum during the 2022-2023 school year. Attendees will be responsible for their travel and some meals.


Online registration will begin Spring 2022.