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February 12, 2013

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BJ’s Restaurants to award cash prizes at CRA Educational Foundation’s 2013 ProStart Cup

(SACRAMENTO, Feb. 12, 2013) – Huntington Beach-based BJ’s Restaurants Inc., in partnership with its BJ’s Restaurants Foundation, will return as the title sponsor for the 2013 ProStart Management Cup, hosted by the California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (CRAEF). The 11th annual competition will be held at the Pasadena Convention Center March 17-18.

BJ’s also will award $12,000 in cash prizes to outstanding students, teachers and ProStart programs across California.

“The potential for these generous gifts to create real opportunities for schools and instructors cannot be understated,” CRAEF Executive Director Alycia Harshfield said. “BJ’s Restaurants has built its name and reputation on charitable works and community support, and this contribution is illustrative of its commitment.”

The BJ’s Restaurant Management Cup involves student teams from around the state developing and presenting a business proposal for a new restaurant concept, including a supporting menu, a marketing plan and a detailed design. A panel of foodservice professionals will serve as judges, including Rob DeLiema, president of BJ’s Restaurants Foundation.

“We are constantly impressed at the level of talent being nurtured in ProStart classrooms across California,” DeLiema said. “These students are the future leaders of our industry, and we’re proud to play a role in their development.”

The winning team will be sponsored to compete in the 2013 National ProStart Invitational April 19-21 in Baltimore, Maryland. First-, second- and third-place teams also will qualify for scholarships to various culinary and hospitality post-secondary programs.

About the California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation: CRAEF has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships and grants since its inception in 1981. CRAEF works to enhance education and training programs within the hospitality industry. ProStart is a two-year program designed to prepare high school juniors and seniors for exciting careers in foodservice.

About BJ’s Restaurants Inc.: BJ’s Restaurants Inc. owns and operates 102 casual dining restaurants under the BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse or BJ’s Pizza & Grill brand names. BJ’s restaurants offer an innovative and broad menu featuring award-winning, signature deep-dish pizza complemented with generously portioned salads, appetizers, sandwiches, soups, pastas, entrees and desserts. Quality, flavor, value, moderate prices and sincere service remain distinct attributes of the BJ's experience. For more information, go online at bjsrestaurants.com.

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