Stop. Look. Listen. Are Your Food Servers Up to Higher Standards?

Stop. Look. Listen. Are Your Food Servers Up to Higher Standards?

Joe couldn’t wait to go into the world as a young man looking for the adventures that would never come to him in the small mid-western town where he grew up. He traveled the world working on cruise ships, survived his adventures, and never did return to his hometown. Now he was of an age where he wanted to find a retirement community. The contentment of place his parents seemed to have in his childhood home was what he was looking for. Joe set out to find that place to call home. Leaning on his travel experiences he knew he wanted a diverse community, to continue the diversity of people he had met over his years on ships.

He began joining friends for dinner in the communities where they lived and recommended. His livelihood depended on his friendly personality so he knew how critical the dining room performance was. To him this meant quality and variety of food, courteous service, ambiance, and the social skills of residents and staff.  He was a professional, looking for the same quality of service he gave and now expected in return.

Joe would love and praise Kind Dining® trained food servers. Since he was good at his job, he appreciated others who loved and took pride in the work they did by presenting professional service. Not everyone has Joe’s same professional background to compare to the food servers in their community. But everyone does know when they are truly welcomed by staff into the dining room. Everyone appreciates being surrounded by courtesy and feels at home when food servers extend a kind word of consideration showing how much they really care.

Today is always the day to see if your dining room excels with the same service you would want to receive if you were in your resident’s seat at the table. It’s too easy to look the other way if any of your food servers are not up to the higher standards you want for your community. When guests leave your dining room, you want them to take away the best possible memory to share with others who may be looking for a warm, homelike community to move into. Is your community dining room outstanding? Are your food servers leaders always improving their service or could they use some Kind Dining® training?

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Remember, the service you give has the power to build community.

Stop. Look. Listen. Are Your Food Servers Up to Higher Standards?

Does Your Food Serving Team Appreciate Each Other?

A friend was reminiscing about her first job after leaving babysitting behind. It was working in a luncheonette which is a smallish neighborhood restaurant that serves home style cooking, the kind that brings comfort when you need it and even when you don’t. It was a temporary summer job that wound up forming a basis that she relied on throughout her life.

She said it was easy to love her customers by listening to their stories while serving breakfast and lunch. When some of the regulars didn’t show up on a particular day, she had to inquire why, reaffirming nothing was wrong in their lives. A bonding formed and they followed her life, staying in touch for several years after she left school. But the shift that came in to serve dinners loved her too. She was a good teammate to the wait staff even though she didn’t actually work with them.

They appreciated that when they came on shift, all the salt and pepper shakers, as well as the condiments had been filled. The pantry was restocked and in order. They never had to go hunting down an item they needed for their diners. Her station was always clean before she left and they never had to pick up after her. She even left the boss in a good mood.

Food servers in a community have a much larger picture to work in. Their dining room serves many more people from varied cultural backgrounds and sometimes with physical disabilities. But the teamwork effort works in the same way. When a shift is considerate of the food servers who come on next by refilling what needs to be refilled, by stocking the pantry, and tending to the little things that can make working a pleasure or, if not done, can create annoyance that builds discontent in the workplace. It’s wonderful to see food servers and food handlers helping each other during mealtimes, but it also makes a tremendous difference when the shifts of food servers respect the ones who come to work next. It’s communication without words. It’s the teamwork that Kind Dining® demonstrates.

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Setting higher standards in dining is a positive change; embrace it!

Stop. Look. Listen. Are Your Food Servers Up to Higher Standards?

Do Your Staff Serving Meals Know How Kindness Works?

A friend told me she saw where a woman had left a bakery, smiling and happy with her warm bagel smeared with cream cheese and strawberry preserves, heading for the office. When she stopped at the curb to wait for the light to turn green, she saw him. Him being a man obviously homeless, looking hungry, and cold. She handed her desired breakfast over to him with a smile saying, “Please take it. It’s still warm.” He received it with a grateful look and a mumble she took to be a thank you. Another woman who had been in line behind her at the bakery saw the whole performance; said to the stranger, “Here, take half of mine. I ordered the same thing you did and you deserve it.”  She tore her bagel in half, handed it over, and everyone left the scene happy.

That’s the way kindness works. When you extend a kindness to someone, it always comes back to you in one way or another. The community dining room is the perfect place to practice kindness. Watch how it flows through the team you work with on a daily basis. Kindness is always demanded from food servers in reference to the seniors in your community. That’s easily understood, but it’s kindness toward your coworkers that makes life flow like water lilies on a pond. Build relationships with your coworkers one meal at a time. Start a conversation that will pass along to other food servers like a chain reaction, including everyone to participate. A few words that may even include a reaction with the seniors you’re serving. Communication is a wonderful gate that opens the way to understanding, building trust, and learning to enjoy the work you do.

Kind Dining® believes in these concepts and can train your food serving team as a way to improve the lives of everyone in your dining room. What could be better for the community than that?  Finding happiness through practicing kindness has been proven. The best part is that your food serving team can be taught how to be kind and be happy because of it.

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Remember, the service your food servers give has the power to build community.

Stop. Look. Listen. Are Your Food Servers Up to Higher Standards?

Do Your Food Servers Happily Remain in the Community Long Term?

The story came to me about two brothers looking for a retirement living community for their elderly mother. They knew their mom was a modern thinking woman. They also knew that age would catch up to her in time and wanted that aging to take place in a community that felt familiar and like home. The two men were partners in a business they stepped into when young and inherited from their father when he passed away many years ago. Drawing on their own experiences learned over the years, they looked for a few particular items in their search for Mom’s new home.

One item they felt was important was the long term employee record. They were firm believers that employees who were happy did not look elsewhere for work. These same employees knew their job inside and out, took pride in knowing the business, the goals and they wanted to be part of the success of that business. Serious problems didn’t happen because the employees could spot a potential difficulty and avoid it. Accidents were non-existent for the same reason. The brothers agreed that’s what they wanted for Mom. A community with those same types of coworkers who Mom would come to know, rely on, and recognize when her memory or physical health did begin to fail. They did not want strangers at their mother’s elbow but people they trusted to care for her when they couldn’t be there.

The most obvious area in the community to notice teamwork, of those who have trained to work together, love what they do, who they work with, and the residents who they serve, is the dining room. This was the target area after talking with all the care-givers they met while they roamed the premises. Next they settled in the dining room to taste the food served and take notice of the skill of the food servers. More importantly, the brothers watched the interaction of the food servers with each other, with the residents and guests, too. When they found a community they felt comfortable, where the employees were at ease while doing their job, and took time to welcome visitors, they knew they had found a place they could trust to take care of Mom. Kind Dining® believes in the same principles. It’s what I have learned throughout my career and it’s what I teach.

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Food servers can be taught to enjoy their work.