Supporting future generations of restaurant workforces isn’t something often considered in the United States, even though fast food employed personnel are responsible for feeding a large percentage of the nation. There’s been one corporation that understands the importance behind hospitality, and future generations that have careers in all variations of the industry. This company is Coca-Cola, which has donated to the “National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation” for eighteen years. That timeframe extends by an additional year with the announcement that the Coca-Cola company has donated $1.5 Million to the NRAEF.
“ProStart from Coca-Cola” is the primary attribute that allows the NRAEF to receive yearly contributions from the world’s largest beverage provider. The 2020 donations given by Coca-Cola will enable 150 thousand high school students to obtain careers in restaurant management, and various other sectors of the culinary arts. “ProStart from Coca-Cola” is a pivotal marketing campaign held year by the corporation, with $100,000.00 donated in scholarships through the National ProStart Invitational. It’s considered the American Olympics of academics.
There are notable differences between the Coca-Cola ProStart Invitational for 2020. The COVID-19 Pandemic forced organizers to re-evaluate how the event is approached. Methods like virtual coaching sessions were implemented, with high school students displaying their skillsets via videoconference for prizes & scholarships. Details on which students have received scholarships from Coca-Cola haven’t been revealed yet, with consideration of winners still being discussed.
It should be mentioned that the Coca-Cola Company donated to the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation earlier in 2020. $21.5 Million was awarded to the NRAEFs Restaurant Employee Relief Funds, which allowed for personnel in the food hospitality industry to receive temporary financial aid. That aid was minimal at $500.00 per application.
When questioned on the donations made by Coca-Cola, the NRAEF President evoked that their partnership with Coke has benefited thousands since 2002. It’s allowed young individuals to pursue their future in the culinary arts, which Rob Gifford says is unforgettable. President Gifford also mentioned that Coca-Cola is remarkable for assisting young restaurant managers & employed workforces during economic hardships. He’d end his sentiments by clarifying his excitement to continue working with the Coca-Cola Company & creating new leaders for the hospitality industry of tomorrow.