Do your food servers bring warmth to the table through kindness?

Do your food servers bring warmth to the table through kindness?

Hilda was having her annual insurance check-up online via her computer. They were in the middle of the session, and insurance representative Mrs. Jones was asking questions.

“Do you understand everything so far? Do you have any questions?” Mrs. Jones was on top of things.

“Well, yes, I do. I toured a senior living community yesterday. I never thought I would be interested in that style of living, but the tour has me rethinking.  How would my insurance work if I lived in that community? I have to tell you, I was impressed!

Everyone was kind and considerate, not just the tour guide but the other staff. Residents stopped and gave me comments, mentioning how many years they lived in the community and how much they enjoyed it. One lady even told me she fought against her daughter’s wishes to help her sell her house and move here. She thought she would hate it.

But no. Just the opposite. She kicks herself for not coming sooner. The woman mentioned trying to keep up with house maintenance after her husband passed away, dealing with repairmen, watching her savings account dwindle, and wondering if they were taking advantage of her.

She thought of all the lonely nights she spent at home, with no one to talk to except the TV and nowhere to go after dark.

She gave me her apartment number and said to look her up when I moved in. She’ll help me meet people and find my way around. She was quite talkative.”

“Well,” Mrs. Jones said, “I really . . . . “

“Furthermore,” Hilda continued. “My ladyfriend was with me, and we had lunch. Oh, the wait staff was so kind and attentive. Not only to us because we were potential residents, but I watched. They were kind and talked to everyone like they were family. Well, maybe better than family.”

Hilda laughed at her joke before going on again. “Our young girl came and refilled our coffee cups 3 times! And there was no extra charge on the tab. She did that with the other tables, too.

I watched closely. It was like they were dancers choreographed in a play. They breezed in, carrying those big trays like they were toys. Chatting while they set the plates exactly where they belonged. I watched that, too. No plates were changed, and no plates were removed until they were empty.

Did I tell you how delicious the food was? Everyone had menus handed to them. Can you imagine? Who knew something like this was available to me? I put my house up for sale an hour after I got home. I hate to admit my daughter was right, but right is right. I’m going to live in a senior living community! Now, about my insurance….”

Kindness and consideration can be learned through Kind Dining® training sessions. Your staff deserves to learn all the skills that make them better at their jobs. Residents deserve to receive kindness and consideration each time they interact with any member of your senior living community’s staff. Kindness is who we are. We Bring Warmth to the Table.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Guests touring your community will respond to the kindnesses they see.

Are your community meal times dining experiences?

Are your community meal times dining experiences?

Good Food Mood People Times Meal Concept

It is the Power of One theory. Twenty years ago, a photo of cellist Vedran Smailovic sitting in the bombed-out National Library in Sarajevo brought beauty in the middle of the devastation of siege.

That strong but reassuring picture illustrates how one person can make a difference and influence others to let go of their fears of war.

I’m thinking of your staff. 

Each staff member can bring a feeling of belonging, joy, contentment, security, and a shared life to each person they contact daily. Much happiness spreads around your community with little effort but intentional kindness.

In return for the kindness they share, they receive joy, a sense of belonging, confidence, work security, camaraderie, and a sense of who they are and the weight they carry. 

It is time for company executives to notice the basic tools they can utilize in their community. True leadership allows your serving staff to raise their potential and improve the dining experience for everyone. Success awaits in this detail. 

This all brings attention to mealtimes being your residents’ most important times of the day. We know how elders take time to prepare for it and look forward to this social time of the day. It is so much more than satisfying a hunger for food.

Meeting new people is a chance to chase away any loneliness that may linger. That is an opportunity for your food servers to orchestrate a social moment. They get to chat and get to know the residents. As a result, they can pair up with people who may be too shy to sit at a table without being invited. 

Person-centered care is about the staff, as they are the service providers who deliver the care.

Through the Kind Dining® training curriculum, serving staff can grow their skills by changing their mindset, skill set, and, ultimately, their everyday behavior.

Their lives will be improved while improving the lives of everyone around them: coworkers, residents, and whoever is at hand. It takes a desire to uplift one’s life, which one can do through training and practice.

Discussion afterward is highly recommended. It keeps the training close in mind, and the skills will follow.

Who doesn’t want a better life and a workday you love, full of the kindness of friends and coworkers?

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Mealtime: an opportunity for serving staff to orchestrate a social moment.

Is your company working to improve service quality standards?

Is your company working to improve service quality standards?

small talk in casual group of people

During a coffee break at the Senior Living Community, Lillian was chatting with her food serving team. “Whew! Thankfully, today is going along much smoother than yesterday! I don’t remember having a day like that when everything that could go wrong did go wrong! It’s not through anyone’s fault or anything major. It’s just a string of little incidents being off-center. It seemed things broke or just went the opposite way of right.” She laughed, happy that they all survived the day before.

“Yes,” Don said. “I agree and when I thought about it last night, I realized how the lessons practiced in our training sessions helped to pull us out of what could have been an even worse day than it was. Does that make sense to anyone else?”

“It does to me. I always carry the statement of ‘Working Smarter, not Harder’ in my head. “Mary piped in. “Yesterday proved how good training can save the day.”

“Now that you mention it, my favorite phrase learned is “Hospitality is Healthcare.” It makes me feel like I am doing something important that isn’t always obvious but is always there, underneath, and important. My caring makes a difference. We make a difference.”

Lillian smiled back.  “I like ‘Happy dining equals happy residents equals a more successful senior care community.’ I think our teamwork and camaraderie help us achieve that vision. Teamwork was obvious yesterday and is a part of our workdays. We all use kindness, almost as a badge of honor now, if we didn’t before. We don’t mention it, but it makes us the caring workers. I’m sure you have all noticed the difference in our working together since the woman whose name I didn’t mention left. Some people don’t seem to want to change, grow, and learn to love coming to work.”

Your staff’s behavior will determine the kind of community you have, and your training program will determine the kind of staff you have. Training that does not change behaviors, encourage responsibility, and move your food-serving teams towards caring wastes time and money.

Kind Dining® training curriculum was designed for your employees to embrace learning, practice, and results. It allows those employees to build teams that work together and make your community the place seniors want to live.

Kind Dining® asks what goals your community staff intends to achieve this year. Are you working to improve service quality standards or build confident, caring teams?

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Stand out from the competition and win industry awards with good training.

Does your staff leadership encourage setting organizational intentions?

Does your staff leadership encourage setting organizational intentions?

Charles was having an impromptu and informal lunch with two colleagues in a private dining room at the Senior Living Community. He was anxious to hear the first results of the new training they began for all employees, including their leadership staff.

“Well, what are the murmurings? Has there been any rumbling in the trenches?” Charles was anxious to hear if his guidelines were adopted by his most recently promoted leadership team now that some time passed. “Has the team used intentional, collective consciousness to guide our food servers? Have they passed intention-setting to the food-serving teams to accomplish our goals? I want to know if our teams are showing signs of having more confidence. Do they collaborate more at all levels? I expect less conflict among all our employees. Has that happened?”

Robert spoke up first. “After our training sessions, we shared your strategies, including everyone’s input to succeed. We stressed the importance of how their work intentions, positive attitudes, and the changes they create are the strengths of our community and our company.  We discussed goals and how the importance of their work is based on results. We have created colorful charts to show the progress of all of us working together with intention. They are displayed so all can see them and take pride in moving forward. We’ve opened a clear communication method in all work areas to emphasize that we are all moving toward our goal. Anyone who wishes to be heard is listened to on an ‘always-available’ basis.”

John added, “We have also let it be known that we expect this cooperation from everyone as it impacts the results. Our employees were interested in knowing how decisions are made and how those decisions come from their work experiences.  Consideration is obvious. Our teams show excitement in seeing our progress through the charts. They also enjoy the team gift cards we use as rewards.

Charles wrapped the conversation, “The reality of leadership is complex. It sounds like the potential expected of you both shows in your early results. You are managing new roles with vital collaboration and commitment and building a culture of organizational intention that requires encouragement and open communication. Now, let’s have dessert.”

Kind Dining® training helps in these areas of organizational skills! Inspiring staff to find a new sense of purpose and embracing a community’s common goal of rallying around the dining experience is basic.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Train your leadership staff on the complex role of valuable administration.