The Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation (LRAEF) announced a new, multi-year partnership with Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers to become the title sponsor for the annual Louisiana ProStart Invitational (LPSI). This contribution will allow the LRAEF to further its mission to enhance the industry's service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. Raising Cane's has been a long term partner with the LRAEF but this expansion of its commitment to connect with the next generation of industry leaders will be very impactful. The 2019 Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers Louisiana ProStart Invitational is scheduled for March 21 and 22 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center.
“Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is a beloved Louisiana brand and has built a reputation as a remarkable place to work providing tremendous opportunities for advancement across America,” said Stan Harris, President and CEO of the Louisiana Restaurant Association. “Having them become our Title Sponsor for the Louisiana ProStart Invitational ensures our ProStart students will have an enhanced and memorable learning experience that exposes them to the possibilities within the industry and those with the Raising Cane’s brand.”
Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers has been an integral partner in the growth and development of the ProStart program in Louisiana for the last decade. As Raising Cane’s has expanded its operations in Louisiana and across the country, their involvement with the LRA Education Foundation has also grown.
“Being actively involved in our communities is a priority for Raising Cane’s and education is one of our five areas of focus which makes a partnership with the LRAEF a natural fit,” said Matt Massey, Regional Vice President for Raising Cane’s. “The LRAEF does a fantastic job of supporting schools and educating the up and coming culinary and management talent that we have right here at our high schools in Louisiana. We are proud to partner with the LRAEF to continue to foster that talent right here at home and support a competition that showcases and rewards that talent.”
ProStart is a dynamic, two-year culinary arts and restaurant management curriculum administered by the LRA Education Foundation in 56 high schools statewide. Nearly 1,800 students participate in the program offered to juniors and seniors as a way to introduce them to the largest industry in Louisiana, and provide them with necessary skills for success as they advance into adulthood.
The Invitational consists of two competitions—culinary and management. In the culinary competition, teams of four from ProStart programs across Louisiana prepare a three-course restaurant quality meal in one hour. Culinary experts judge students on how well the meal is executed. Sanitarians and post-secondary instructors also judge the students on teamwork, communication and overcoming challenges, while following clearly defined food safety standards.
In the management competition, teams develop and present a new restaurant concept to a panel of industry leaders as if they are pitching to a group of potential investors. Students must field questions about staffing, marketing, menu development and operating costs using critical thinking skills developed through the ProStart curriculum. Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers has previously sponsored the management competition for the past four years. These skills are desirable traits in the company’s worldwide growth in restaurant crewmembers and managers. Through this partnership, students will also have direct access to education and workforce opportunities at all 66 Louisiana restaurants across the state.