Instilling civility into your food serving team makes positive, lifetime changes.

Instilling civility into your food serving team makes positive, lifetime changes.

Multi-ethnic group of contemporary young people collaborating on work project while standing in circle in modern office and smiling cheerfully

A few on the second shift food serving team gathered at a table for their dinner break. They picked up the conversation where they left off earlier about their pre-shift training session that morning.

“With a little more practice, I think everyone on our team will have Module 6 down pat. We have all learned about being friendly and chatting with the residents, recognizing that our community is the place they chose to call home.

Now that the only bully on our team has been replaced, we can honestly say that we show courtesy and respect to each other as well as to our residents.

I’m sorry we couldn’t help her change her attitude to a positive one. It affected her work and created resentment among the residents. Once the residents got used to the care and consideration from the rest of our team, they rejected her outright! But we all tried in our different ways to reach out to her and refused to react to her bullying.”

“You know, our encouragement and guidance worked with Sally. She often says how our working together to show her the intentional, positive way of working has changed her life! She certainly has gone from glum and gloomy to a cheerful woman who now loves coming to work each day! We should all wear a little red heart sticker or pin on our uniform to show how much we do care.”

She laughed in case anyone may think that was a silly idea.

The newest person recently hired piped up. “I learned part of her lesson, the part that being civil was not the same thing as being neutral or reserved. I’ve learned it means lifting someone through kindness, courtesy, and caring. Like hospitality! Right? Don’t you always say hospitality and healthcare go together?”

He was proud of his learning and moving forward with the team.

Kind Dining® training sessions alleviate the problem of bullies without pointing a finger at one person but by bringing improved ways of working, introducing and stressing civility to all on the food serving team.

Create a team working toward the same goal and dissolving the problems of anyone who behaves like a bully.

Open discussions regularly with the entire food serving group and encouraging new ideas from the very people who do the serving instill leadership qualities and trust in their coworkers including administration.

Aging adults are particularly aware of the atmosphere that exists around the people who serve meals to them three or four times a day. It is easy to notice when someone strays from team goals for whatever reason.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Have your food servers learned what civility truly means?

Do you read the latest research on the Business of Aging Services?

Do you read the latest research on the Business of Aging Services?

Picture of an open book with a glasses on top of it

 

Do your community supervisors continue to read research on how to secure and keep healthy employees?

Do they know why it is necessary to have healthy employees and how it benefits your residents and your community?

Do they know the benefits of teamwork?

Research results reveal that employees who work together as a team show better communication skills with residents as well as with their teammates. When they share the same goals with staff members on their team, they are impacted with a sense of respect and are apt to perform their duties with a lighter step. This especially refers to employees in a minority, whether gender, race, or age.

A team member will feel accepted and know they will be treated as fairly as their teammates.  They also are reassured that they will not suffer any kind of harassment. This affects health and creates decisions to stay on the job.

A healthy employee seeks to improve their performance, will have the patience to be kinder, and gentler, and will create positive relationships with both their coworkers and the residents.

Kind Dining® encourages practicing teamwork relationships, ideas, and sharing opinions, to strengthen new, team-building habits.

Occupational friendships with teammates convey a sense of belonging that works on behalf of an employee’s health. It’s a small kindness, to extend a hand or smile, that creates a huge response.

Kind Dining®  training sessions teach that learning and practicing together promotes team culture.

The presentation and serving of meals are a complex choreography. Teammates learn to have each other’s back when someone falters. This builds trust and a winning team.

My research has proven that building meaningful relationships helps aging services communities attract residents, retain staff, and create a community where your employees and your residents feel like they belong in this very place. By mastering the fundamentals of attention, respect, and kindness, you too can improve the experience of everyone in your community.

Kind Dining® is approved for 11 Continuing Education Units for RDNs, & NDTRs.  CEUs are from the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This includes 1 Ethics unit for the entire series.

For CDMs, CEUs are from the Certifying Board of Dietary Managers (CBDM). 9 General, 1 Sanitation, 1 Ethics.

Why does the brain like learning?

It’s freeing the cognitive capacity so it can seek out new information and learn. To keep our brain in tip-top shape, it needs exercise. And learning something new is the best workout we can provide. Habits and routines follow neural pathways that are well-developed and etched deep into our brains.   – Jan 21, 2022

Click here to learn more at the National Library of Medicine.

Be ♥ Kind: Build meaningful, occupational relationships to attract residents, retain staff, and create a winning community.

How do your employees become one of the good ones?

How do your employees become one of the good ones?

 

 

 

How do you become ‘one of the good ones’, as an employee is sometimes referred to? Many times several employees do the same work, get it done on time and never cause a problem. Yet they aren’t especially referred to as ‘one of the good ones’. 

There is more to responsibility than basic work. Attitude is important. A positive, uplifting attitude is major. It is the sincere smile, the pleasant comment, and adding some hot coffee to a half-filled cup that makes a difference.

Often it is the small things that someone may accept without fuss but notice when they don’t happen. It is noticed when an employee gives a lending hand to her teammate without even thinking about it.

Those little things make a person shine. Often, they don’t even realize it. Residents notice and smile because they know ‘that’s one of the good ones’.

Every employee can be one of those good ones.

  • First, it takes desire (who wouldn’t want to be noted like that)
  • Then it takes learning how to be aware and
  • Finally, it takes practice.

Kind Dining training sessions can step in to help with those requirements. Starting with a positive mindset uplifts the individual as well as those around them. Follow up with intentional acts of kindness to the work performance and your elders will notice.

They will also gain a sense of being wanted; feeling that they fill a special place. It is impressive to your employees when they realize it only takes 5 seconds to perform an intentional act of kindness, with great positive results.

How could anyone resist after learning such a powerful fact? The next step is practice, practice, practice until it comes naturally, without a second thought.

The Kind Dining curriculum was designed to teach your employees, among other skills, the soft skill of small talk, and find value and joy in the work they do.

Your employees are a powerful asset to the company when they are giving quality service.

When a member of your staff serves a meal or a beverage, they are extending hospitality.

When they freshen a cup of coffee or tea, start a conversation, or offer a sincere compliment, it is an act of intentional kindness while also extending healthcare.

When hospitality, healthcare, and kindness are given together from one of the team, they are ‘one of the good ones’.

Set your intention and connect with Kind Dining today.

Do your food servers carry happy holiday spirit with them?

Do your food servers carry happy holiday spirit with them?

 

Do you know that holidays can bring severe, sometimes unexpected, melancholy to many seniors?

Even though the pandemic is gone, it has left many elders without loved ones who passed away during that time.

There is nothing a food serving staff can do to bring back those who have passed away, but they can turn a sad moment into a happy memory just by knowing the right words to say.

A minute can mean a lot to an older adult who is experiencing loneliness.

Kindness of thought or a few words can change a tear to a smile. The moods of food servers affect everyone they come in contact with on their daily rounds of service. It is a small thing that has big results.

When training is offered for new hires and refresher sessions for experienced servers, it is vital to add the knowledge, and skill, of kindness to those sessions.

From a leadership point of view, kindness can aid in building relationships with elders, but also with coworkers.

Your food serving team armed with vital skills applied continuously, reduces loneliness and melancholy. This is especially so during the holidays when the mood of your food serving team turns the general atmosphere into holiday fun and happy exchanges of greetings.

Keep in mind that many residents were previously hosting the holidays. After moving into a retirement community, they are just another person living among a melting pot of people who are strangers to them.

Their holidays are now vastly different.

This is a time when gathering around a mealtime table, meeting new friends, and sharing holiday stories becomes the most important hour of the day. This is a time of creating a new normal way of life. This is a time when food servers can help elders acquire a sense of belonging in your community.

A huge part of how quickly your residents make that adjustment depends on how your staff welcomes them while dining.

Kind Dining® training sessions show your employees the way to improve and grow their behavior patterns.

Knowledge and practice can make your food serving team aware of their movements and moods and how they affect your residents.

To aid new residents in making positive, permanent changes, invite the Kind Dining® curriculum to teach your employees how to make positive, permanent changes in their own lives. It doesn’t happen overnight.

When your employees work as a team, helping each other through education and practice, your community is on the way to being a top-learning and earning company.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Are your employees aware of their behaviors and moods?

Do you lose good employees for lack of good supervisors?

Do you lose good employees for lack of good supervisors?

“Does this new management team take care of us employees as we take care of our residents? No, I’ll answer for you.

As you know, I’m unhappy and have been for the last six months since the new, upper regime moved in.

I’ve brought my concerns to the bosses hoping to discuss some problems with them. I was sincere and wanted to get answers to my questions. They have canceled our discussion and training meetings and I haven’t heard a word from anyone at the top.”

A friend was eavesdropping at the park listening to two women sitting on the next bench feeding the pigeons.

One of them was obviously upset.

“What can you do? Her companion asked.

“I know exactly what I can, and will do.

I’m taking my eight years of skill and experience and going to our competitor on the other side of town.

I’ve already spoken to a woman I know who works there. She’s quite happy and content with their work schedules, responsibilities, training/discussion sessions, and management, and she’s even content with her paycheck.

That says a lot!” she laughingly replied.

Any employee who has concerns about work and takes those concerns to a supervisor shows evidence of being a responsible worker.  A knowledgeable supervisor with good leadership qualities would appreciate it.

Employees have private lives too, with their own families to look after.

When occupational issues arise for them, they need to be addressed. It’s important to keep stress from building up or burn-out forcing a good employee to feel they need to quit their job.

Health problems can result. That should not happen to any employee. Issues can be avoided with discussions and compassion.

The Kind Dining® Experience in Senior Living Communities is vital to improve the health and well-being of employees. That includes residents and staff.

We believe our training sessions help build relationships in ways that improve our communities.  Again, that improvement is for residents and all employees.

Our passion is to improve the work experience for staff serving meals, and residents receiving them.

We do this with education that involves kindness, civility, and empathy because we also believe that hospitality is healthcare. 

Actually, training never ends. It continues to educate employees about changes, adjustments, new ideas, and ways to improve their work performance. It builds communication skills necessary for a community that feels like family.

Be Kind Tip: The employee who brings a problem to a supervisor is a responsible employee.

Would you recommend your community to your job-hunting friends?

Would you recommend your community to your job-hunting friends?

young pretty black womanfeeling puzzled and confused, doubting, weighting or choosing different options with funny expression

Cindy Heilman, Kind Dining Training

Can you honestly recommend your assisted living community to friends who are looking for a job?

If you know they are naturally thoughtful, caring, and considerate, and would look forward to training and education sessions to hone their skills, would you alert them to position openings?

Do you know if they are good listeners, and communicators, and enjoy interaction with the older adult population?

These are skills just as important as knowing how to serve a proper meal, clear a table, and deliver room service meals with all the condiments, along with a cheerful smile and kind words.

Are they well-groomed, have integrity, and respect for a Code of Ethics?

Would any of your friends realize that teamwork is involved and that the team becomes an on-the-job family that supports each other as the company also does?

Could they handle flexible hours and schedules if necessary?

Are they aware that the residents of today are more sophisticated and worldly than generations past?

That they come from various ethnic backgrounds, bringing vast experiences with them? Do your friends display empathy for others?

Have you ever told them that you are a skilled professional with finely honed skills that encompass many avenues?

Can you honestly recommend your company as one that invests in its employees with excellent training and has ongoing educational meetings?

During those meetings can you participate and offer ideas, suggestions, and discussion?

Can you tell your friends that you are supported in your efforts, offered guidance, and recognized for your unique talents?

Can you say that the wages are competitive with other communities?

How about rewards, recognition, and benefits?

Are they offered?

Does the company offer schedule flexibility?

Is there a 401k plan for full-time employees?

Would they receive vacation, holiday, and sick pay?

Do full-time staff receive medical benefits? Are your company’s values clearly stated?

Is your community one they would love to work in?

And a company they would come to love working for?

Kind Dining® training sessions help to build the company/ employee relationship that creates the community employees love to work in and the company shows pride.

We deliver our unique 9-module dining service training beneficial for all your employees. We deliver wise training investment consultations by phone and virtually in Zoom.

We are approved for 11 Continuing Education Units for RDNs, & NDTRs.

CEUs are from the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This includes 1 Ethics unit for the entire series.

young pretty black womanfeeling puzzled and confused, doubting, weighting or choosing different options with funny expression

Cindy Heilman, Kind Dining Training

The credentialing board for Certified Dietary Managers is the Certifying Board for Dietary Managers (CBDM), also approving 11 credits,  9 General, 1 Sanitation, and 1 Ethics.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Can you recommend your company as one that invests in its employees?

Do you pay attention to your residents’ suggestions?

Do you pay attention to your residents’ suggestions?

Do your residents ever make a complaint or suggest the food service?

Do you take the time to listen? Or do you try to change their mind before they even finish saying what they have on their mind?

It costs absolutely nothing to pause, stop what you are doing, look them in the eye, and listen.

Whatever you were doing can wait a minute or two. It can. But it could cost a great deal if your resident doesn’t get the satisfaction that their thoughts are important to you (and the company) if you don’t. You don’t want to have a resident move to a different community because they feel invisible to you.

Residents must feel they are valued, and their opinions are valued by you and your company.

You also don’t have to agree with what they are saying. You do have to acknowledge their comments. You can sympathize with them, offer to carry their thoughts to someone who can help, and you can certainly thank them for telling you.

They must have confidence in you, or they would have gone to someone else.

Think about that. It is building relationships by way of communication and a responsibility that is part of your training in the culture of person-centered care. Let your elders know that they matter to you and your company. Your consideration will create a loyal resident, instill a sense of belonging, and show respect. It will also demonstrate the excellent training your company has provided for you.

Communication is at the heart of the culture change taking place in the business of Aging Services.

Determination and persistence in practice at training sessions pay off.

Cultural change in your community marries healthcare with hospitality.

Kind Dining® knows the results for a company that invests in every employee by supplying excellent training. Educated employees are more efficient, have positive attitudes, are prepared to take on responsibility, and know they are valued. Properly trained employees work as a team and are aware of rules and codes of conduct.

They are more likely to adhere to health codes, so you pass surprise inspections with flying colors. Everyone wins when employees have proper training and listening is part of that training.

Kind Dining® is approved for 11 Continuing Education Units for RDNs and NDTRs.  CEUs are from the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the credential agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This includes 1 Ethics unit for the entire series.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Do you demonstrate your excellent training?

Does your food serving team know about “soft skills”?

Does your food serving team know about “soft skills”?

young waitress smiling

The two women were walking down the hallway heading towards the kitchen to begin their work shift at an independent living community. They just finished a segment of the training session and were discussing their opinions.

“First of all,” the older one said, “I never heard the term ‘soft skills’ and I certainly didn’t realize I had them. Timewise I’ve probably worked longer on our food serving team than most anyone else.

I learned early to adapt to the many changes made over the years. With my natural curiosity, I communicate easily with the residents, and as you know, with my coworkers.

I think my mom taught me about empathy and she always encouraged learning new skills.

I’m glad they taught those things in today’s training session. Many of our coworkers need to learn those skills. Some are downright stubborn and need to add these skills to their toolbox.

I love my job, always have, right from the beginning, so learning new ways to work has always excited me.”

“Well, I thank you for taking me under your wing and guiding me when I needed it,” replied the younger woman, obviously newly hired.

“I’m also really delighted with this Kind Dining® training module number 3 because, like you, I love learning new ways to work.

I plan to stay in this community, so I want to be a top-notch team player. You make yourself available to talk with me about our work. I enjoy that and discussing what we just learned helps me even more. I appreciate that.”

One person can make a difference.

It’s called the Power of One and it often begins with helping a change of attitude, to encourage learning new ways that change a person’s life and changes the life around them, all for the better.

Discussion after learning sessions brings what they were taught to a personal level and embeds the information like a file cabinet where the content can be brought out and used again and again. What was learned becomes second nature; building confidence.

Kind Dining® curriculum was created to change lives for the better.

Our training is an opportunity to introduce new skills, but more importantly, it’s a way to reshape thinking that will transform the lives of your employees.

Your food serving team will take note of the residents’ increased satisfaction as they receive small acts of consideration, Such as starting a meal with a smile from your server. Add pleasant chitchat and watch the residents at the table light up. It’s good to be recognized.  The goal is to make your community a great place to live and a great place to work! Life is good.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Encourage learning new ways to work, it changes the life around them.

Does your food serving team have a high EQ?

Does your food serving team have a high EQ?

EQ (emotional quotient or intelligence) chart

Do you know what the most successful companies look for in an applicant when hiring?

They seek a person with the combination of skills that enable a person to learn, relearn, and relearn again.

We know how rapidly changes are happening in our long-term care communities. Our industry has been experiencing major changes and upgrading of services.

People with EQ (emotional quotient or intelligence) can easily learn the changes necessary to keep their community reputation far above their competition. Those people understand, empathize, and conquer unexpected and distressing situations that arise in the kitchen, dining room, or anywhere in the community.

Building strong workplace relationships comes naturally to those with emotional intelligence as they turn intention into performance with the ability to command perceptive decisions.

The EQ skills that Kind Dining® training sessions have been teaching include self-management, which is controlling your emotions in healthy ways by adapting to changes in work responsibilities and taking initiative.

We’ve been training in the skills of empathy, active listening, social interaction, and group dynamics. Relationships, including how to build bonding relationships to inspire and create a team that works together are stressed in our training.

In our training of skills, we teach how your emotions affect your thoughts, and behavior and how to build self-confidence. If you cannot control your stress it can lead to serious physical health problems high blood pressure, a reduced immune system, and an increase in earlier aging.

As a long-term care provider, you want your community to be the leader in your industry, surpassing any competition. Your employees can do that with the training of these skills that benefit your residents, your community, and your employees themselves.

We have returned to ask healthcare providers their thoughts on what advantages they gained from our training.

Working better as a team and improved communication with both coworkers and residents stood out among others in their answers. After completing the training curriculum, the learners thought and acted differently!

Nearly all agreed with this statement: Kind Dining has helped me to understand my role and the importance of teamwork to enhance dining and nutrition for residents in my care center.

Yes, hospitality and healthcare go hand in hand.

Kind Dining® training sessions were designed for all employees who serve meals or beverages, including nursing and wellness teams,  housekeeping departments, recreation staff, and managers.

Food servers that learn the skills of emotional quotient are a powerful asset to the company. When they perform with self-confidence from the skills Kind Dining® teaches, they provide quality service. Sessions are now available online.

Do your employees stay with your community?

Do your employees stay with your community?

Higher retention image with a man in a suit

A retired friend told me recently how she made an excellent living in the old days, by being a waitperson during the years of raising a family.

“I was good at it. My aunt trained me,” she said. “I was pleasant and paid close attention to my customers’ tables without obviously staring at them. With my ‘regulars,’ I remembered what their preferences were. That impressed them. I pampered them without fussing and I was thoughtful and kind.

It was just a matter of good manners carried a little further. It works very well. I was more than civil to my coworkers and often stepped in to help when it was needed. We all wanted to get the food to the table while it was still hot. Of course, in return, they responded with the same kindness. I loved my customers, my work, the wait staff, and the results it brought.”

When any query is raised about improving work performance, training, and education are always at the top of the list. It’s unfortunate, but not everyone was raised with good manners and showed consideration for others.

In communities, serving older adults it is imperative to display those fine qualities along with the professional skills learned for fulfilling your responsibility. Residents receiving physical help are in dire need of kindness and consideration.

Coworkers who are sometimes overworked and may have personal problems of their own running around in their heads, also appreciate a helping hand from another teammate. That kind of relationship with a coworker builds commitment to the job and the community.

A few minutes of chit-chat creates cultural conditioning, shows respect, and establishes trust between coworkers. These may seem like small doings but they are important social skills that make a better environment. Employees stay on the job when they are content with their working relationships.

Kind Dining® training curriculum has impressed companies with the value of educated, multi-skilled, kind, and civil employees.

It is commonly understood that well-trained employees, confident in their work, remain on the job much longer than those without proper training. Our online courses are for your full and part-time, direct care workers, and managers.

Our training sessions are experiential. We train by using action, reflection, application, and performance.

All employees build empathy to respect the aging process by using kindness to connect with residents. They also learn to build solid, trusting relationships with their coworkers.

We teach personal and professional skills that improve the lives of your residents while improving the lives of those who serve them.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Help residents feel they made the right decision by moving into your community. Remember you are the face of the organization.

 

Is your community aware of the new trends in food service?

Is your community aware of the new trends in food service?

Fresh food on cutting board for new trends in meals

The latest trend towards cooking to order is setting assisted living community chefs and food serving teams on fire!

Spring changes in the kitchen in food preparation and in the dining room in serving food have awakened creative culinary minds. The focus on utilizing local, fresh, and seasonal foods results in fresh food prepared without increasing the food budget. Chefs use their talent to create additional innovative ways to present healthy selections of food.

Residents with a waning desire to cook for themselves still want to dine on meals that tempt their taste buds. Cooking with fresh herbs and seasonings instead of sodium pairs healthcare with hospitality. Eye appeal is important and can easily be achieved by creative cooks in the kitchen. Staff who serve timely meals with pleasant, positive comportment and are neatly attired carry food service to a higher standard.

With many older adults entering the community companionless, mealtimes are even more important as social hours that will keep them from feeling isolated and lonely. Food has always been a key factor in bringing people together to form friendships and share stories. Mealtimes are the highlights of the day; a time to experience, savor, and enjoy.

Today’s senior living residents have been introduced to multiple cultures in their lifetimes and wish to continue the wide knowledge of taste they have acquired. This fine dining experience that satisfied them in their favorite restaurants is sought in the community they chose to call home. Grabbing a candy bar or bag of chips for a snack may no longer be satisfactory. Interesting, healthful refreshment options are desired at snack time they want. These goals are attainable for your community. Consider salad or sandwich bars and cooking stations that have become popular.

Kind Dining® training modules are a proven turnkey curriculum for assisted living communities that realize resident-centered care is good for business.

Our modules include:

  • Can we Make a House a Home-(creating community);
  • WHO are you Serving?-(respecting the aging process);
  • What do YOU bring to the Table?- (how to be successful);
  • Making it Personal- (knowing how to be ready to serve);
  • The Symphony of Service- (applying what you know correctly);
  • If Only I Had a Heart- (caring to become better);
  • Emotion Control-(dealing with the hard parts of serving;
  • Don’t Touch That!- (preventing foodborne illness);
  • Polishing Service- (respecting the company that hired us).

We believe active learning in practice and experiential classes are better ways of educating. Our unique approach to teaching benefits the seasoned server and the novice, the part and full-time employee alike.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Grabbing a bag of chips for a snack may no longer be satisfactory.

Are your employees familiar with experiential training?

Are your employees familiar with experiential training?

2 chefs in kitchen

Finding a new approach to dining in Residential care communities while still keeping within the present budget has been introduced by trending chef leaders of creative community dining. Using fresh, local food supplies to serve on order ala restaurant-style dining is here and is doing well.

Creative menus offer wholesome foods that taste as good as the food looks and are healthier than the cafeteria-style and cooking from canned foods and steam tables.

Chefs are preparing foods with herbs and seasonings to replace unnecessary sodium that most seniors are avoiding for health reasons.

Mealtimes are the most popular events of the day for socializing at the table, meeting new neighbors, and sharing with friends. Residents reject loneliness and isolation when looking forward to mealtimes as a time to make plans and share stories.

Upcoming chefs are redesigning their kitchen work habits to accommodate new ways of cooking on order and serving fine dining meals.  Establishing salad and casual snack bars replaces time-consuming efforts in the kitchen that can be used for other preparations.

Meetings encouraging the food serving team to offer their ideas and comments allow everyone to be part of the changes taking place. This inspires the food serving team to be more aware of the care they use in serving residents and will alert them to the importance of their work.

Creating new and better ways to serve meals is a time for unique opportunities for reviewing the work habits of every staff member who serves meals. Instilling a sense of pride in one’s work through meetings and discussions where each person on the food serving team has the freedom to be part of the transformation. 

Kind Dining® training sessions are designed for all employees who lift a plate of food, or even deliver a beverage to a resident.

It includes full or part-timers, nursing and caregivers, housekeeping department staff, and department managers.

Your food serving team is a powerful asset to the company when they are giving quality service.

Employees are cross-trained in our fun, focused, practical skills and competency curriculum which teaches how each meal can be an enjoyable experience.

Kind Dining® developed virtual training instruction online workshops for easier access. The goal is to help food servers work better by working wisely, while still learning how to expand their knowledge in their work field.

Do your menus reflect a food serving team that cares?

Do your menus reflect a food serving team that cares?

healthy food serving

“When my husband and I decided it was time to move to a senior living community, the first thing I said was, ‘I’m going to miss going out to restaurants to dine.’ Mrs. Long was talking with her friend about her and her husband’s plans. 

“As seniors, after struggling financially in the early years of marriage, building careers, raising the family, doing without to save money for the kids’ colleges, we finally reached the level where we could eat out as often as we pleased. You know that is something I enjoy. 

But I’m delighted that our senior living community has a chef-inspired menu. It’s like going to a restaurant and dining out every day. A bonus to that picture is we don’t need to be cautious about salt in our food. The kitchen is already aware of that hurdle.”

“What is chef-inspired food?” asked her friend.

“Well, it’s not the old way of cooking masses of food delivered in large cans and kept hot on steam tables where you have no choice, only to eat what they are serving that day.

It means creative menus with choices, fresh vegetables, and foods prepared with herbs and seasonings to bring out the flavor without using salt.

Our food is prepared when we order it, not hours earlier, and kept hot. It also means a plate set before you with beautifully arranged food to whet your appetite even if you aren’t hungry.

Again, it means going to a restaurant every day to dine on food that makes me feel at home. It means a meal we want when we want it.  What is not to love about that!”

Kind Dining® training encourages members of the food serving team to offer new ideas and suggestions to consistently be aware of upgrading and improving meals for their residents.

It is vital that dining in the community matches the elegance of residents’ rooms, apartments, and the amenities of their community.

Residents who experience high-quality food service are overall contented and happy. Mealtimes are still the high points of the day.

Your residents must find the food to be fresh in all aspects. These dining hours are an opportunity to build the community’s reputation. Build on that thought and invest in your food serving teams for a higher return on each trained food server. Food servers include nursing/health services, care staff, housekeeping departments, and managers. Your food servers are powerful company assets.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Remember that your food serving team is your company’s most valuable asset.

Does your food serving team see through the eyes of your residents?

Does your food serving team see through the eyes of your residents?

mature woman soft smile

Is this a good time to look at your food service through the eyes of your customers as top-notch restaurateurs do?

Do you realize that your residents yearn for the same quality of food and service that their favorite restaurants gave them? Those are the restaurants, bistros, and trattorias they patronized before they made your community their home.

That kind of dining service is not out of reach. A food serving team that works together to improve the quality of mealtimes that residents look forward to every day.

An inspired chef can create interesting menus, bring in fresh foods, and design the kitchen to prepare food when ordered. The new way has overcome the old way of cooking early in the day and keeping it hot on steam tables until mealtime.

Still combining healthcare with hospitality, an inspired chef will use herbs and seasonings to replace the salt most seniors need to avoid. It will benefit their health while pleasing their palate.

Dining is their time to socialize, try new dishes with intoxicating flavors, and share stories with newly made or reacquainted long-time friends.

An inspired chef and food service team working together can create excitement at mealtimes and compliment the architecture and décor in your community that first attracted your residents to choose your home.

Your food serving team is a powerful tool for the company.  The dining room’s quality of food and service is their most valued asset. Meals that are talked about with warmth, delight, and satisfaction carry more assurance than advertisements. Word-of-mouth is a strong advantage.

Kind Dining♥ training modules are now available online.

Our curriculum is comprised of 9 training modules divided into 3 sections.

We will help refresh the work habits of your long-term food servers, educate your newly hired food servers, and show your part-time food servers how to be part of the team.

A well-trained team helps your community stand out from others by having employees who learn to be dedicated to their work.

Do your food servers encourage new residents?

Do your food servers encourage new residents?

 

Brown Label With English Text Welcome Home With Purple And White  Kind Dining Training Cindy Heilman

Many seniors will decide to leave their present home and make their new and final home in a senior or an assisted living community. This is a lifetime decision and not one that is made lightly. When keeping this in mind, your food servers have the power to reassure any hesitancy of these new residents. Incorporating kindness into their daily routine shows commitment to helping new residents settle in. It also improves their day. They display empathy by lending an ear and taking a few minutes to listen.

Older Adults making your community their home will welcome this kindness as they often left a home of 50 years. They leave behind a houseful of familiar antiques and treasures to move into a smaller place. Downsizing is rewarding in itself.  It can also be painful to leave those treasures collected over a lifetime.

Hospitality is encouragement when starting fresh. Hospitality is also a comfort and is healthful.

Food has always been a comfort and a major factor in the senior and assisted living community.

The food server is the carrier of that comfort. Your food serving team must add the skills of empathy and sincere listening to their list of practiced technical skills. Follow those skills up with practicing kindness to become a way of life. It eases a workday and improves the attitude of the giver and receiver. Now that dining rooms and restaurants in these communities have re-opened, mealtimes can return to their former social times. They become a focal point for renewing friendships and meeting new residents.

It is a time for excitement and fun. It is a time for enjoying the chef’s choices, the food servers’ comments, and the warmth of a table shared with others.

Our training modules at Kind Dining® are experiential.

We engage trainees by using action, reflection, application, and performance. Servers learn empathy with delicacy for seniors who left their family homes to become permanent residents in your community.

Your food serving team can connect with residents one-on-one to build good relationships. We teach that personal and professional skills, like hospitality and healthcare, go hand in hand. These skills improve the lives of your residents while improving the lives of those who serve them.

Everyone benefits from thorough and refreshed training; the residents, their families, the entire food serving team, and the company.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Personal and professional skills go hand in hand, like hospitality and healthcare.

Are your food servers aware of the emotions of starting over for residents?

Are your food servers aware of the emotions of starting over for residents?

Portrait of serious african american old man looking at camera

Starting over.

Your new residents are starting over, sometimes after living in the same house for 50 or 60 years.

They had to downsize, give away, donate, or throw away their lifetime of brick a brac, and souvenirs. Art treasures and wall hangings must go. There is no room in their new home. Clothes closets must be reduced to fit the new residence. Sometimes, there will be no need for food processors, mixers, and other kitchen tools. It is a major decision in the last chapter of one’s life.

They are starting over, looking forward to a carefree life without the heavy responsibilities of home ownership. They also know that this is the last place to live before moving to the hereafter. It comes with age or, in the case of assisted living communities, infirmities.

Whether the chosen home is in a senior living or assisted living community, they will need a warm welcome and assurance that they chose the right community.

Your food serving team is where they will find comfort and confidence if your team has received excellent training.

When kindness, empathy, and consideration are offered along with meals being served, your residents receive exactly what is needed.

Kind Dining® training series addresses these skills of hospitality and healthcare that can be learned, along with technical skills, behavior control, and positive thinking.

Helping people by listening to their life experiences is the highest form of hospitality. Because it makes them feel better to share their stories, it also attends to their healthcare.

When these new residents move into your community, your food serving team can help them adjust by listening to their concerns, triumphs, and, though it is a little harder, their bumps in the road.

The food serving team can assist in shaping a resident’s outlook on their new lifestyle. This creates a safe space. When your food servers contribute to healthcare this way, they will feel added value to their lives.

We at Kind Dining® training love this new approach.

We teach how the principles of kindness counteract the greatest threat facing the world today.

Too many people are experiencing the epidemic of loneliness, isolation, and the feeling of not belonging. Listening with intent is a major kindness not to be taken for granted. It is a dual kindness in helping the speaker and helping the listener, too.

Your committed food-serving team will also learn that practicing kindness during their working hours becomes a way of life that improves their own lives.

We teach finding solutions to these most challenging problems that arise in senior care communities at all levels of care.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Do you love our new approach to teaching the principles of kindness?

Do your employees listen when residents in the community share their stories?

Do your employees listen when residents in the community share their stories?

a Caregiver looking at ladies eating

Everyone has a story.

Ending an old year and beginning a new one brings out the stories that residents find satisfying to tell.

The savvy food server gives the best gift and builds a good relationship when he/she listens intently to what the resident wants to share.

Listening is a skill that can be learned and practiced. It not only gives great satisfaction to an older person but adds to the list of food-serving skills. It strengthens the bond created between the resident and the server. It increases the value of the employee and creates a sense of belonging and a feeling of accomplishment.

Listening is the highest form of hospitality. Hospitality holds hands with healthcare which helps elders through their life experiences. Sharing stories comforts the teller and the one receiving them by listening. The skill can be added to daily habits with little effort.

One of many things a food server learns by listening is that all older adults in their Senior Living Community are not the same.

To lump them all together because they share a certain age bracket would be a major error. An obvious result of that difference is their exposure to various ethnic and cultural foods in their dining experiences. The world has grown smaller and has introduced new food preparations and recipes to everyone interested.

Opting for the time of day when a person prefers to dine is varied. Some prefer early supper, and others prefer late evening dining.

Today’s well-rounded community offers to accommodate everyone in the community.

The answer to all residents choosing as individuals is to operate the dining room similarly to a restaurant. That is the way chefs face the challenges of culinary services.

Experienced chefs incorporate the assorted tastes of people in the community.  They execute the daily mealtimes, including special event meals and holiday buffets. Residents’ families are invited to share the meals Mom or Dad enjoys each day.

Kind Dining® training series has long recognized and taught the importance of listening, building friendships, treating residents as individuals with dignity, respect, and kindness, and seeing the difference in one from the other to all employees. 

Everyone on the entire food serving team, including the preparers in the kitchen and each one who comes from other departments to serve food or beverages, benefits from our Kind Dining® curriculum training series.

Hospitality and healthcare work together as the food-serving team does. Kind Dining encourages any company that wants to thrive and evolve, to invest in its employees by continuing education and creating a community of belonging to retain valued employees.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Does your food serving team know older adults are not the same?

Do you have any residents in your community that are lonely?

Do you have any residents in your community that are lonely?

senior man sitting alone and feeling lonely

Imagine sitting in your room in a senior retirement living community.

You have survived the loneliness of isolation from the Covid-19 pandemic, but now it is over. Yet you are still lonely because you moved into this caring community just before the pandemic started, and you never had a chance to make friends.

Loneliness feeds on your immunity.

You only saw your food servers. How would you feel?

You’ve been relying on the kindness of your food serving team for conversation, and now you still depend on a kind word that will encourage you to sit at a stranger’s table in the dining room.

It isn’t easy if a person is naturally shy or doesn’t hear well and hesitates to ask a stranger if they may join them. Intentional kindness from a food server to make that approach easier by introducing a resident to a table is a small effort for the server, a major appreciation from the resident.

Social interaction is a defense against loneliness. It helps in your residents’ health. An assisted living community’s food serving team has the power to help your residents feel that they are welcome and are a part of your community instead of feeling abandoned.

Not everyone thinks to react to a situation with kindness. It isn’t that they are rude, just that they didn’t think of it.

When intentional kindness is added to the list of skills to learn and practice in training sessions, it will become the most natural thing to do in any needed situation. When kindness enters your psyche, it becomes a way of life that brings joy to the giver as much as to the receiver. Remember how you felt after you extended kindness to someone in the past and the delightful expression on their face afterward. Didn’t it fill you with pleasure? 

 Kind Dining♥ coaching and training curriculum has long impressed companies on the value of educated, multi-skilled, including intentional kindness and food serving teams.  It is commonly understood that skilled staff remain with their company much longer than those without proper training.

Our training series is for your food serving team, both full and part-time, direct care workers, managers, and those you pull from other departments when you have insufficient food servers, as is happening now due to the pandemic. 

Our training sessions are experiential.

We engage trainees by using action, reflection, application, and performance. Servers build empathy to respect the aging process by using kindness to connect with residents one-on-one.

We teach personal and professional skills that improve the lives of your residents while improving the lives of those who serve them.

Be♥ Kind: Learning kindness as a skill becomes as natural as the sun rising in the morning.