Case Study

Inspiring the Next Generation of Restaurant Leaders

Inspiring the Next Generation of Restaurant Leaders

Despite how common it is for Millennials and Gen Zers to find their first job at a restaurant, they tend to eventually leave the industry for three reasons: a better opportunity elsewhere, insufficient pay, or to finish school. The National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF), in partnership with the Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK), saw an opportunity for the restaurant and foodservice industry to discover more about these generations to determine what will make them choose to pursue a long-term career in the industry.

In 2018, NRAEF and CGK surveyed 1,606 Gen Z and Millennial respondents online, finding remarkable consistency in their desire for a fun work environment. In addition to flexibility, recognition, and feedback about their performance, findings underscored an interest in mentorship. They conceptualized this by developing ProStart, a nationwide program for high school students that inspires and guides the next generation of restaurant and foodservice leaders. The industry-driven program combines culinary arts with restaurant management to build practical skills while providing students with a platform to discover new interests and related career opportunities across the industry. The foundation’s portfolio of innovative programs continues to shape and lead the future of the industry and is constantly evolving to stay relevant and connected to a dynamic and diverse workforce.

[The] exposure to industry tells these students that the future is bright and wide ahead of them and if they want to join us in this industry, it’s all here for them.

– Mark Dorsey, CEO, Construction Specification Institute

Did you know?

The restaurant and food service industry generates over $800 Billion in revenue annually.

Participating Organizations

National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF)