Do you have good leaders hidden in your food serving team?

Do you have good leaders hidden in your food serving team?

You will find true leadership that shows a deep caring for your residents in different areas of your workplace. Someone from management that stands at the entrance to the dining room on Friday nights to greet seniors, often by name, shows a person bonded to her community. It is an example of food servers note and tuck into their own thoughts about how they may add a little something more to their daily routine. It is mentoring by example. The gesture is appreciated by the residents and noticed by their guests. It matters and communicates that each resident entering the dining room is welcomed and acknowledged. Someone cares.

Management can develop leadership from within by selecting a food server who seems to have natural leadership ability. It is easy to spot them. They are the ones who accept work without being asked to, such as restocking the pantry before the next shift begins. You will find that food server pulling out a chair for a senior or introducing a new resident to a congenial table, aware that being new can be awkward on a first trip to the dining room.

Kind Dining® coaching recommends management attend training sessions to help repair broken lines of communication with the food serving team. While being part of the interactive, hands-on training sessions they may discover important items about food service they may not have known. It is time to improve relationships with food serving staff, to support them in accepting greater responsibility and allow the food serving team to learn how to excel in the field of hospitality. Leaders will emerge from Kind Dining® training to take ownership of their work with a sense of urgency.  Fear of culture change will dissolve as they move forward widening their field of responsibility. 

Good leaders embrace a shared vision of their food serving team arriving at success in their endeavor. Employees who know their job well, work easier, happier, and take pride in becoming loyal to their company. Loyal employees don’t leave thereby saving the company the high cost of searching and finding replacements. Developing the talents of your food servers will secure a competitive advantage from other senior living communities. Remember to hire food servers who can meet your service standards. Look for those who demonstrate a desire for excellence and have a natural reaction to correct problems with their own ability as they rise.

Our B Kind® Tip: The service of a food serving team is directly related to the success of your community.

Is your turnover in food servers high?

Is your turnover in food servers high?

Keep in mind that if you have residents in your senior living community, you need a food serving team to serve them. While this sounds elementary, consider that you want skilled, knowledgeable, talented, considerate, food servers that exude a pleasant attitude. Do you wonder where to find them? Do you wonder how to keep those in your employ from searching elsewhere? There are proven ways that keep your food servers wanting to stay with your community and enjoy working in your dining room. 

It’s time for Kind Dining® training. Now is the time to set ambitious culture change goals.

Transformation depends firstly on executives, managers, and team leaders learning and following a curriculum proven to work. Food servers were not born with the skills they need for top-notch service but they can be taught person-centered skills that fit your particular community dining room. They will learn to understand your company goals and how to become a valued part of it. Importantly they will learn how to handle the emotions of working with senior service. Train your food servers to know their responsibilities and how to do their job in the best possible way.  They will take on a pride in what they do, feel the sense of belonging, of being a part of their community’s and company’s success. Your food servers will adopt a better self-image, new behaviors, reinforce new attitudes and appreciate new standards.

Every time one of your food servers leaves your employ, it costs the company money that could be invested elsewhere in the community. A new employee must be found, hired and trained. Losing even one food server creates a burden of work for the rest of the food serving team, often causes distress especially if she was a favorite of your resident diners. 

Research has proven key leadership practices in person-centered care, comes from food servers empowerment to make decisions immediately in their own area of service when it is needed. Growth comes from self-responsibility. Kind Dining® training teaches these basic cultural changes. Even the youth who come to work between their college terms will benefit your community. The training will bring them back each season already knowledgeable and that encouragement may bring them to enter the field of senior living community service when they graduate.

Overcome your food serving team’s resistance to change. Teach them a better way to build a stronger food serving team relationship and your community will have less turn over in your nursing and dining room employment. 

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Take a leadership role by setting a good example today.

Does your administration support your food serving team?

Does your administration support your food serving team?

Picture of co-workers with their arms around each others' shouldersAn acquaintance recently told me about her teacher friend who was about to quit her position as a third-grade teacher. She could endure the ogre of a principal in the small school no longer. The woman caused friction between the other teachers and completely upset the staff, causing havoc and creating dissension with every one of her new rules and decisions. The principal had been on the job for less than a year. Mostly everyone else had been with the school for more than ten years. 

She knew when she started that teaching at this particular school meant low pay. But, because she loved her students and the influence she had on them made up for the low pay.  Knowing she was worth more contented her. She also enjoyed working together with the teaching staff to bring new programs for these children of lower-income families. Then a wonderful thing happened just in time to save her. The principal handed in her resignation! It seems she had a family emergency that needed tending. All who worked at the school in any capacity rejoiced. “Kind of behind closed doors so no one outside the school would know,” she said.

The teacher continued to tell her friend how the administration returned to allowing the teachers to seek better ways of instilling the desire to learn in the children now that the disliked principal was gone. They encouraged the teachers to expand their concepts and plans. The teachers enjoyed a good relationship with each other and extended complete support.

Kind Dining® trains food servers in a retirement community to benefit from the same doctrine. When encouraged to become part of solving problems that arise and seeking new ways of improvement, food servers adopt ownership of the work they do. When the food serving team is aware of how important they are to the seniors they serve, their attitude changes the way they see their job. People don’t generally leave their job because of low pay, they leave because the administration doesn’t support them, encourage them or thank them for the good work they do. It’s a lack of appreciation that hurts the person who does the best they can. That’s when their job becomes meaningless. Why bother with a meaningless job when they can go somewhere else they are appreciated.

In a senior living community where personal care is applauded, that same personal care applies to the food serving team. To increase food serving staff stability, management must update their training practices.  

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Thanks for the service you give. It honors the residents.

Marketing plans? Do you keep your community dining room in mind?

Marketing plans? Do you keep your community dining room in mind?

Robert opened a bistro in a small town expecting people to flock in just because his place was new. Just in case that didn’t happen, he had a plan to use coupons, specials, and discounts to get people to try his menus. He knew once they came they would return. He was that confident in his menu, his serving staff, and his charming dining room.

He was right. His bistro was the cat’s meow. Once people came in, tasted his food, were charmed by his staff and felt happy sitting in such a lovely room they couldn’t wait to tell their friends, family, and neighbors about this new bistro in town. Word quickly spread. While he did some inexpensive ads in the next town over, he never needed coupons or discounts. The dining experience spoke for itself. People lined up at lunchtime and sometimes came in early so they could get a table without waiting.

The dining room in your senior community is a great marketing tool. Let it speak for itself when you know your menus are varied and tempting to the palate. Look at the ambiance as if you were an invited guest unrelated to the community. See what a guest sees and feels when they enter the dining room. Would they feel welcome? Would their eyes and nose tell them that this was the place they wanted to sit at the table to enjoy a dining experience with friends, not just a place to get a bite to eat?  Would they tell their friends and neighbors about this wonderful place when they were ready for a retirement home? Do their guests say they are pleased with your senior community being their friend’s new home?

Investing in your community dining room is a wise decision. Kind Dining® can help you have a dining room that matches the success of the bistro mentioned above. We can train your food servers to adopt the attitude of being happy to see your residents enter the dining room. The diners in return will be happy to see them, because your food servers will be competent, polite, caring, and loving what they contribute to the dining hour. Your food servers and seniors will look forward to seeing each other because mealtime is more than just getting a bite to eat.

The dining room is the most important place for improvement investments in your senior retirement community and your food servers are where you begin.

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Train your food servers to make a good first impression at every meal.