New Jersey Restaurant Educational Foundation


The 2024 Bobby Alviggi Scholarship is now open!

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For questions, contact Xadea Green |

What is the NJREF?

The New Jersey Restaurant Educational Foundation (NJREF) is the philanthropic foundation of the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association. It exists to enhance the restaurant industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement and the promotion of career opportunities. By developing a stronger workforce and building the next generation of industry leaders, the NJREF impacts the prosperity of the restaurant industry.
The Foundation’s educational initiatives provide culinary, management, food safety and skills training to build a pipeline of talent for the growing industry.

Areas of Focus

  • Workforce Development

  • Apprenticeship

  • Scholarships

  • Training and Education

ProStart Program

The NJREF has united with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to bring the restaurant industry into the classroom. ProStart is a nationally recognized two-year program for high school students that focuses on educating and developing students into future leaders of the restaurant and hospitality industry. Using the Foundations of Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts textbook, this comprehensive program not only teaches students culinary techniques, but it also teaches students important management skills. 

  • New Jersey Department of Education approved curriculum
  • Nationally recognized exams and completion certificates
  • Access to scholarships from the NJREF and National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
  • Access to NJRHA’s resources and work experience opportunities
  • Access to apprenticeship programs and other employment opportunities through NJRHA
  • Opportunities for students to earn a ProStart Certificate of Achievement, tied to college opportunities throughout the country, certifying their skills and experiences.
  • Access to restaurateurs and mentors for the classroom
  • Educators have access to professional development and resources through the NJREF and National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

NJ ProStart Invitational

Each year, the New Jersey Restaurant Educational Foundation brings the ProStart program alive with a state-wide culinary and management competition. The competition gives students real-world experience and tests their skills and knowledge in not only the culinary arts, but also in restaurant management.

Scholarships are awarded to the first, second, and third place teams through NJREF partnerships with colleges and universities throughout the Northeast.  The First-Place teams will move on to the National Restaurant Association ProStart Invitational and represent the state of New Jersey competing for scholarships and more importantly bragging rights!

2023 NJ ProStart Invitational Images

‚ÄčThank You NJ ProStart Educators

The NJREF is a non-profit 501c3 — all donations are tax deductible.