My friend’s brother Bob, who owned a bistro, told me about the difficulty he had with a chef. The food she prepared was excellent. She even brought some of her own recipes. But she refused to come out of the kitchen to say hello to the steady customers who wanted to meet the chef who cooked their wonderful food. These steady customers spent their money to support this business. The bistro was personal to them. She was temperamental. Her people skills were less than desirable as she also created a lack of self-confidence in the young wait staff. The last straw of her resistance to fit into the formerly smooth running bistro, she refused to attend the compulsory training session. As a chef she felt above it all. Continuing to learn and to listen to those she worked with was not on her agenda. She was let go the following day.
Managing a bistro is probably not as complex as the kitchen and dining room of a retirement community serving a large number of people from various backgrounds and demands 24/7. Yet there are many basics that need to be learned by each person involved in making the entire food environment of your community one that runs as smoothly as any first class restaurant.
Strong leaders within this environment can build a foundation of higher values that the others will want to become a part of the team. While the community may lose a kitchen worker or dining room server now and then, the strong framework of the team will produce a dining complex to ensure that higher standards prevail.
Yes, it takes empathy, knowledge, patience, and the desire to truly want to serve seniors that may be cranky or picky because their meds are off or they have a personal disappointment on a particular day. Kind Dining® training will show the way to problem solve issues that may arise, how working together as a team strengthens every area of food service. The kitchen staff and the servers in the dining room can each reinforce the responsibilities of the others, to form a formidable team.
A chef in the kitchen must be willing to embrace the challenge of food preparation in appearance, nutrition, taste, in satisfying the desires of the culture mix of diners. Ideally the chef must be willing to bond with those serving his creations in the best possible way. Dedication to a person-centered philosophy in your community builds a solid foundation that improves relationships within the team and will overflow onto your dining residents and their guests.
The Kind Dining commitment to training and on-going education is the heart of helping communities build the team that excels in the most important area of the community- the dining rooms.
Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Is a teammate having a hard day? Ask if there’s anything you can do to help.
When I was in my mid 20s I was working in the wilds of Alaska at an isolated camp where 100 young adults, ages 16-23 from multiple states came together for conservation work. This was bare bones living and working! There were no luxuries or electricity! Gracious, we did have running water. Cold, only!
I was in charge of the menus, budget, and making sure their nutritional needs were met. Resources were limited. There was no convenience store down the street where I could pick up a few things that weren’t delivered. There was no store at all! I worked with confidence because I knew my job. What I didn’t know was people gathered from across the country had radically different ideas on what food was good. Southern California wanted expensive granola; northern California wanted whole wheat bread with sprouts in it! Wisconsin wanted lots of real butter. Easterners were serious vegetarians that stood on principal and even refused fresh caught salmon!
It took 3 weeks for the residents to rebel. That’s when I learned a valuable lesson that I have always remembered. I learned while listening to these young adults, that, it is the birth of hospitality. I learned that food means so much more than eating, it means home. It means community. It wasn’t easy but we worked things out so everyone got some of what they wanted and needed. It seems that experience revealed that I care deeply about people, food, home, community and hospitality. I still remember to listen.
It is vital that your servers learn to listen. Your residents also come from many different backgrounds with desires that need to be heard. Serving staff are the bridge between your residents and everyone else. It is necessary for them to know how to create the hospitality that your residents deserve. Conversation that may seem casual is key to providing that connection. Listening and conversing is a skill that can easily be learned with practice.
Your servers can also be the bridge in bringing residents together, especially newcomers who may be shy about sitting at someone’s table who they have never met. Kind Dining can teach your servers how to listen and the skills of conversation and hospitality that are vital and valuable to your community.
A friend of mine, who married very young, told me about leaving an unhappy marriage after fifteen years and entering the workforce for the first time. She started by taking orders from the salesmen for a wine wholesaler. Practicing the pronunciation and spelling of imported wines was vital to her. She didn’t last long. Her employer saw great potential in her desire to learn her responsibilities and moved her up to the telephone switchboard. During the year she was answering phone calls, she temporarily filled the position of each office worker when they went on vacation. Her employer encouraged her to get her high school equivalency diploma. She did. In the following year he offered her the option of becoming a sales representative for the firm. It was the highest position in the company, below his own, of course, and she took it. She never disappointed the boss who saw her potential.
It makes no difference which position of responsibility your employees hold, you want them to do and be the very best they can. Kind Dining ® Training can teach them this different kind of training to see their potential and what it takes to attain it. It makes no difference what knowledge your employees begin with but how willing they are to believe in themselves so they can absorb the training and adopt the fullness of their job. This also applies to the staff when they step in to help at mealtimes. It becomes part of their job description and they will be especially pleased when they notice the huge difference they are making in the lives of residents.
Senior care community servers need to learn how to blend service with hospitality in order to enhance the residents’ quality of life, regardless if they are full or part-time servers. When the administration leads the way with enthusiasm, showing respect to each employee, they, in turn, will catch that emotional pull and seek their full potential. As a result the residents will be treated to the hospitality they deserve.
The leader in the community that is afire with passion for being the best at working toward a common goal inspires every other employee who becomes aware of that devotion. That dedication is contagious and will spread to your employees who also want to be the best at their particular job. Kind Dining® training gives your servers the opportunity to evolve to their highest level of potential resulting in success for them, the business, and for the community. This type of training changes negative attitudes and habits to create improvements in daily life and work that becomes a lifetime benefit for the individual employee and the company. I’ve seen this happen.
I have witnessed the change that is so apparent and successful to business that I have dedicated my career to helping make this happen where it is needed most: in the dining room of senior living communities. Growth comes from forward thinking-leaders who are willing to put forth the effort of culture change. It is a concept whose time has come. Government regulations presently encourage and will soon enforce culture change in long term care communities. Kind Dining® training advances these ideas for you to become the leadership with the excitement for learning and sustaining common purpose with personal and professional development.
While your employees are reaching for their highest potential, take notice, you’ll see that everyone benefits including the residents and that is the first and final goal.