Every senior housing community, whether retirement or skilled healthcare, must provide the best dining experience it can offer. In order to reach that goal a new mindset and skill set ought to be put in place. It’s time for the organization to realize that residents are not guests in the community but have chosen to make the community their home. It is necessary for servers and administrators to recognize this in order to alter their thinking when serving in the dining room. It is vital that servers are courteous, respectful, kind, and show friendly warmth. Patience is a key factor.
It is important that each employee knows that they are not separate from, but a vital part of the success of the community. Education and training skills will bring them to understand that this is especially meaningful in the dining room. Using social skills such as making eye contact and using a person’s name along with proper serving techniques need to be taught to part time servers as well as the full time staff.
A core company value in any community is empathy. Staff members are often unclear about this emotional skill that can be developed for use on a daily basis allowing it to become a natural response. The server’s job is complex, often affecting those with the least amount of educational background. This is where Kind Dining® steps in to fill that most important gap. Proper training that embraces all aspects of serving is paramount to success in your community.
Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Handle all your job tasks without needing to be asked. Embrace the new changes with a smile and positive attitude. Start with small, simple steps and keep going.
My friend, who comes from a restaurant family, told me how everyone in their restaurant worked as a team. When the dinner hour became truly busy, the wait staff took a moment to clean a table to help the busboy, the sommelier and the host-both in tuxedos-carried a plate to a waiting diner to help a wait person, for the benefit of the customer and the company. When the rush hour was over, everyone returned to the position they were hired for.
It’s called teamwork and it’s important for the success of any organization for the benefit of all. It also creates a satisfied feeling of perfection to all who participates.
In today’s community, enlightenment of new regulations brings caregivers and ancillary staff together with the serving staff in the changing roles of the dining room. It’s time for all employees to work as a team especially during mealtimes. Kind Dining® can teach your staff how to apply these new government regulations to enhance your community starting with their positive attitude in embracing the changes. Each employee is important to the community’s reputation.
The changes affect the caregivers and nursing staff even more than the ancillary staff. When they learn the value of extended personal service to the resident, combining it with working as a team they, too will see the benefits of the new regulations. Courtesy between serving staff adds to the homey feeling so critical to a dining room, keeping in mind that it is the residents’ home. Meals served in the best, positive way, matters!
Camaraderie between servers is just as meaningful as it is with camaraderie with the diners receiving their meals. Servers can also help each other by restocking where necessary before their shift ends. It’s about respect for fellow workers, like doing a good deed that always somehow comes back to you.
B♥ Kind® Tip: Imagine your community mealtimes working like a smooth choreographed production.
Watching a well-trained professional team work through a busy mealtime is like watching a theatre production of a top rated director. It gives the viewer pure pleasure to see each person have a part to play and interact gleefully with everyone else.
When your caregivers and ancillary serving staff learn the new routine enforced by the new regulations, they will have the power to create a smooth working mealtime that will enhance each diner’s experience. Kind Dining ® training is at the heart of bringing your staff to understand and comply, creating a beautiful choreograph. Showing the way for them to encompass the entire result intended by the new rules, will make their transition smoother.
Teamwork builds a bond of business friendship between those who work together for a better overall community. Respect comes into play as employees are introduced to routines that are new to them. They are expanding their knowledge and learning how others have been doing their workplace responsibilities. The residents will appreciate it, the organization will appreciate it, and when the serving staff sees the end results that they helped to bring together, they will appreciate it, also.
It’s a beautiful thing, to watch teamwork at its best.
B♥ Kind® Tip: Organizational roles and responsibilities in the dining room require staff to embrace different skills, attitudes, and commitments.
Every industry has its focal point, the most important center that every other part of the production surrounds. In community living that focal point is the dining room.
In my first job in health care after years of experience in the restaurant industry, I learned quickly and surprisingly from a state surveyor just how important our dining room was to my community.
It started when four state surveyors showed up at our facility before 8 a.m. wearing their severe grey suits that shouted authority. But I was new on the job, naïve, and not intimidated like the other staff. Perhaps because of this, I learned from my interviewer and was grateful about what she taught me.
It made sense to me that if the most important parts of a resident’s day are mealtimes and the residents are the most important part of our community because they are the foundation, our reason for being in the community at all.
At the time I was the dietary manager working side by side with nurses and CNAs in a nursing home. On that day a path opened up for me because of changes in regulations and my attitude toward those changes. My career journeyed onward. I became a Nutrition and Dietetic Technician, attained my Masters in Nutrition and Foodservice Management, and worked in the corporate world of foodservice distribution as a healthcare specialist, working exclusively with Senior Housing providers across the country and locally, always improving the quality of food service and menu programs.
I am still grateful to that state surveyor Arlene, who took the time to teach me the importance of person centered dining in our community all those years ago.
Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Think about what life is like for your residents. How can you make mealtimes more satisfying for them?
I took note when the “Greatest Coach of All-Time” UCLA coach John Wooden said, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” This brief statement overflowed into all areas of his long, successful life and it does the same for every area of your dining room. You want your serving staff to work together as an award-winning team. You want your team members focused on your dining residents. And you want them working together as award-winning team mates.
Kind Dining’s® proven staff training teaches your serving staff about the importance of showing kindness while getting their work done, showing kindness to the next work shift by restocking and having the right supplies ready for them, and kindness when they help out by doing something that is technically not their job.
Your serving staff has the power to offer smooth, hassle-free mealtimes every day. Do they survey the dining room making sure it is clean, neat, and in order? Serving meals is a team effort that can be attained with the right coach: Kind Dining®.
B♥ Kind® Tip: Does your serving staff show kindness in all that they do?