Programs & Initiatives

Texas ProStart

It’s a well-known fact that everything is bigger and better in Texas. Our approach to high school hospitality education is no exception to this rule. The TRA Education Foundation took the benefits of the National ProStart program and added a Texas twist:

  • Outstanding Curriculum
  • Educator Excellence & Professional Development
  • Industry Support & State-of-the-Art Facilities
  • Student Achievement

Texas ProStart prepares students for careers in the restaurant and food service industry. They gain valuable restaurant and food service skills through their academic and workplace experience.We take high school culinary and restaurant management to the next level by providing the full support of the Texas restaurant industry to over 250 high schools reaching 25,000 students each year. The program grows each year - adding more schools and reaching more students! Find a school near you and visit to see this program in action.

The connection between industry and schools ensures that teachers and students get the most from the Texas ProStart program. We provide extensive resources for educators and students, and the annual Texas ProStart Invitational competition showcases the amazing passion and dedication students have for our industry.

Visit for more information.

Workforce Development

A skilled workforce is essential to our economy and when industry and education work together, it creates a direct path to employment for Texans. The Texas Restaurant Association and the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation have long recognized the importance of workforce development for our industry.

We are heavily invested in supporting educational opportunities for restaurant careers in Texas. Partners have a direct impact on the success of our programs and their ongoing development. 


The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and the American Hotel & Lodging Association were awarded a $1.8 million contract, from the Department of Labor, to develop the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship. To learn more about the apprenticeship program, visit the NRAEF website. Below is a webinar, led by John Shortt, NRAEF Director of Program Development, outlining the apprenticeship program and answer questions from TRA members. If you are interested in building a registered apprenticeship in your restaurant, foodservice and hospitality business please contact Jerrica Deloney, TRAEF Progam Manager. 

Restaurant Revenue Sharing  

TRAEF also partners with Texas Restaurants for revenue sharing opportunities, such as co-branded dinners, special events, and more. 
These campaigns are also a tremendous statewide and industry-wide branding and recruitment opportunity for restaurants.  Let us tailor a campaign for your restaurant and assist you with your recruiting and retention needs.

School Grant Program 

All socioeconomic levels are reflected in our Texas ProStart high schools. While some schools are well funded, others are not as fortunate. Through TRAEF/Partner school grants, we can give grant funds directly to a school in need and help them strengthen their Texas ProStart program. 

Culinary Educators Training Conference

TRAEF’s annual train the trainer conference for all Texas ProStart educators and future Texas ProStart educators.  Classes, demos, and presentations led by industry professionals, chefs and restaurateurs.

Technology and Workforce Development Conference

TRAEF is currently coordinating a new conference that highlights best practices in industry technology and how it impacts workforce development.  TRAEF is committed to offering educational programming that prepares people for exciting restaurant industry careers while also offering workforce development, recruitment, and retention programming that keeps the industry strong.  If your restaurant or industry business is run by the right technology, this greatly impacts your recruitment and retention efforts.  Attendees will learn from innovative industry icons, hands-on classes, demonstrations and interactive discussions. 

Lone Star Bash






Chef prepared bites
Craft beers and cocktails
Live music
Networking with industry suppliers and restaurateurs
Party with a purpose*

During TRA Marketplace, join us for the opening night kick off party. *All proceeds benefit the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation and the educational and workforce development programming it produces, including the country’s largest culinary arts and restaurant management accredited program – Texas ProStart.


Get Involved

If you would like to sponsor this event or be part of our amazing restaurant line-up and share your delicious cuisine with attendees, contact Steph Smith, Director of Strategic Partnerships, or 512.968.2575.

Game On!



Join us for the 3rd annual TRAEF Game On!

Game On! is a multi-store Topgolf tournament that pairs players in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Together for one simultaneous game restaurateurs, chefs, managers, industry vendors and industry professionals enjoy an afternoon of friendly competition. This event raises funds for the educational programming and initiatives produced by the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation. It's business and pleasure, wrapped up into one!