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?

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.

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 coworkers extend the hand of friendship to one another?

Do your coworkers extend the hand of friendship to one another?

Two chefs

Many friendships are formed and carried through long periods over the lunch/dinner table. ‘Let’s meet for lunch’ is a common phrase that indicates wanting to spend some time with a friend.

It’s nice to have lunch served to you but it’s the friendship that is the magnet. Even casual friendships are important to us. To share a meal with a friend, or potential friend, is a bonding moment. To hold business meetings over lunch forms friendships that break down barriers and continue to work long after the meal is finished and the table is cleared.

Forming friendships on the job is a vital part of having a smoother workday. We all know there are days when everything goes wrong.

Now picture going to that friend at work who is the very one to help you solve a problem and put you back on track. Friends who have been on the job years longer than you, can give you tips on how to do your work easier, with intention.

Sometimes a friend is like having an extra pair of hands. On the other hand, it is just as gratifying when you can be the friend to help your coworker. There is a particular feeling of attachment in your gut when you have extended yourself to help another. 

There is a spring in your step as you prepare to go to work because you know you will see friends to greet you, exchange the latest news, and bring you up to date on any events.

Having kindness about you is beneficial when working in a senior or assisted living where you will be helping residents in one way or another. That same kind of attitude is an invitation to your coworkers for friendship. You all share the same work reality and that is powerful in forming friendships on the job.

It is easier to understand a dilemma that arises and discussing it is uncomplicated when you know you are all immersed in the same field. That also applies when you want to share happy news or accomplishments.

Who could better share the joy than someone who knows the situation? Your coworkers seek the same goals you do for the residents. When issues are shared it builds a better working relationship. 

Unexpected friendships in the community create strength and a positive growth of self.

Kind Dining® training sessions open the doors for these friendships to form. Discussion and alliance as a team at work are encouraged.

Be ♥ Kind Tip:  Friendships with coworkers create strength and a positive growth of self.

Does your food serving team bring holiday cheer along with the meals?

Does your food serving team bring holiday cheer along with the meals?

Family dinner. Family receives guests, a festive meeting. family serves table and communicates with each other. Parents children and grandchildren in the house, cake on table.

It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol, Little Women, and Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer are a few from a long list of stories of Christmas where kindness wins the day. Winter Holidays, no matter which one you celebrate, are a time for generosity, thoughtfulness, and kindness . The holiday season can be exceptionally difficult for older adults spending their first year in an independent living or assisted living community. They have chosen your community to call home but may be missing many of their family and friends lost in the recent pandemic. They may be yearning for past, happy memories and traditions that will never be experienced by them in the same way again. 

This holiday season is a time for your food serving team to go the extra mile to fill in those lonely, melancholy moments. While they have been practicing their social skills with residents, now is a good time to ask about those memories and traditions. Holidays are all about food. Gathering around the warmth of a dining table to share those foods that were special to their memories is still a way to bring happiness to your residents. It’s also perfect timing for serving particular foods that were enjoyed. Food servers can gain and carry the information and recipes back to the chef to include them on the menu. 

In conversation, food servers can also encourage their residents to expand their sense of culture and start new traditions by tasting the Christmas specialties of friends they have met. Perhaps your food serving team can suggest sharing traditions of others such as watch a holiday movie, enjoy a sing-along, start a story meeting where each person tells their stories of Christmases past. The key is for your food serving team to have compassion with residents, to understand they may be suffering silently. Asking a person to tell her/his story is an easy way to start a chit chat. Perhaps Christmas themed aprons can be worn by your food servers to spread the jolly Christmas spirit.

Kind Dining® training curriculum leads the way for your food serving team to create great relationships with those they serve while building their own skills and self-confidence. It’s easier to love your job when you know you are good at what you do, that you bring holiday cheer along with the meals you serve. It is a proven turnkey curriculum for communities that realize resident-centered care is a priority that benefits the company. Kind Dining® coaching is designed uniquely for staff who, directly or indirectly, serve meals. The interactive courses inspire your serving teams to weave hospitality with healthcare, to converse with residents, and to care.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: The holiday season is a time for your food serving team to go the extra mile.

What are you communicating without realizing it?

What are you communicating without realizing it?

Looking at it from a resident’s point of view, after their own grooming, followed by waiting for hours for their next meal, what do they see when you enter their room? Can they rely on an enthusiastic “Hello, Mr./Mrs. …, How are you doing today?”  Can they see a smile behind the mask being worn? The smile that moves up to your eyes where everyone can see it while hearing it in your voice? Do you use a lively step into the room so they know you are truly as happy to see them as they are seeing you? It’s vital that you mean it when you say you are happy to be bringing their meal. Your voice reveals how you feel even more than the words you use. Guaranteed you will feel better using a chipper tone of voice while you are extending a happy word to the resident. It’s human nature.

Using an upbeat attitude is a choice, one that can be learned through practice even if you have heavy problems waiting for you elsewhere. It’s a way of tucking your own woes into a little pocket that you can bring out later when you need it. They don’t have to be foremost in your mind when you are serving meals. You will find facing your own problems easier by starting with the confidence you carried throughout your workday. Kind Dining® training teaches how to make choices, how practicing hospitality lightens your own load. You will be improving the quality of the meals you serve without changing a single thing on your resident’s tray. 

Basic training of your food serving staff is an investment that remains with practice until it becomes part of your food server’s natural attitude. This improvement in your food serving staff will make a significant difference to your residents.  Making and keeping residents happy in these trying times is a gift you can easily give them. Provide your residents with nutritional, tempting dishes, eye-appealing to whet the appetite, and top it off with pleasant, effervescent food servers whose presence will be remembered after they have moved on to serve the next resident. Your food server can make their day!

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Non-verbal communication is indispensable to great service.

What are you communicating without realizing it?

 Is it time for change and celebrations?

It’s important to continue having celebrations in this time of extreme caution and stress. Have you ever been in a restaurant when the table or two over from you received a cake lit with candles and the wait staff singing Happy Birthday? Didn’t it make you and the other diners around smile, maybe applaud or even join in the song? Maybe this is needed now, especially in today’s senior living community.

Happiness overflows to everyone that touches the celebration. Knowing the occasion, the kitchen will be joyful in preparing a special meal or cake, the food server in bringing it to the resident and everyone it passes will smile. Adding a balloon to the food cart is adding some fun.

Fine Dining® coaches the food serving team to work together in bringing a bit of joy at a time when it is most needed. It’s impossible to have a grim face when bringing a special celebration cake to a resident, so the food server gets to feel joyful, too.

It isn’t necessary that celebrating be confined to one resident. One night can be titled a “Jungle Safari Night” when the chef prepares kabobs, lots of fresh vegetables, and desserts with bananas or coconut to fit in with the theme.  Elephant or monkey paper napkins can be used. Food servers can wear straw pith helmets or animal striped visors to join in the fun. Residents can use a little silly with all they have been enduring.

At your food serving staff meeting, invite your food serving team to come up with ideas for themes and how they can work it into their daily routine without disruption. Appealing to them at the planning stage encourages them to add their enthusiasm and makes your food servers a part of the overall team. This creates a bonding effect that guides the plan’s progress in a smooth way. It boosts morale and inspires a working team at a time when they can use the camaraderie. This in turn will strengthen your efforts toward person-directed culture change. Studies show staff empowerment is the key to leadership practices and decentralizes decision making. This shift to include the food serving staff to be part of change and responsibility leads to higher rates of staff retention and lower turnover. This makes for a stronger company and higher company values.

Our B Kind® Tip: Kind Dining® coaching encourages leadership when you are brave enough to make positive changes.

Can robots replace your food serving team?

Can robots replace your food serving team?

Already many stories have come out of our physical distancing for more than a month now. One I heard recently concerned a woman’s husband who was ill but not with the symptoms of the novel coronavirus. The husband didn’t have a cough at all, or fever, muscle pain, chills, loss of taste or smell, or any shortness of breath. He had swollen glands and a sore throat just as he had the previous year. When his wife called the doctor, he said, “With the present situation being what it is, do not come to the clinic.”  He gave her an appointment time when he would pay a visit via online video. Sitting in bed, in front of his computer at the appointed time, the doctor’s image appeared and went through the usual routine, say ah, turn your head so the doctor could see the obviously swollen glands and bingo. The visit commenced with a prescription sent to their pharmacy of choice.

This was modern technology put to good use just when it was needed. Don’t panic. Your food serving team will not be replaced by robots. The personal presence of a ‘Good Morning!’ is cherished by residents. In the times we are living in now, many are craving a hug from a friend or family member they cannot be with.  We must stay the required 6 feet away when outside the home. A handshake has long been a first indication of meeting a stranger and knowing instantly whether this stranger would become a friend. Times are changing. 

The serving team that has been well trained knows the importance of a familiar face or voice and how comforting it can be to residents sequestered in their rooms. To address the person by name and make small talk is a lifeline to many residents, aside from their computers and cell phones. Modern technology keeps us in touch with the outside world, but humanity needs a personal connection, i.e. a pat on the hand, a flower on the food tray, a reassurance that dark times will end.

Many of these personal connections necessary to keep residents contented, comforted, and free from fear, came from the hospitality customs offered for centuries. It is the same hospitality Kind Dining® has been teaching since the beginning. People are not born with these skills but once they become aware of them and how easily they can learn them with the right instructors, they can practice them until they come naturally. The food serving team is the lifeline of the senior living community in sickness, in health, and in physical distancing times such as we are living in today.

What are you communicating without realizing it?

Is your food serving team interacting with your residents?

Serving food has always been so much more than bringing food to the table. Every person who loves being in the kitchen or has restaurant life in their blood system knows that “Bad service can ruin a good meal yet good service can save a bad one.” Even your finest chefs will tell you that. When it comes to senior retirement communities and nursing homes it is even more critical.

Surveys have proven over and over again that social engagement and building relationships for a quality living are paramount to seniors in nursing homes and retirement communities. The social engagements and relationships must be continued even if the residents are restricted to their rooms. Food servers who engage with the seniors they serve are found to be happier individuals themselves. It is their devotion to the idea of mealtimes being a social event that reflects back to them when seeing a resident enjoy having the food server enter their room. Address them by name, make a casual comment to engage a conversation, and pass on information gathered on the events of the day in the community.

When families cannot visit, the cheer they would bring is left up to the food server to convey. A sincere compliment will quietly encourage a senior to continue ‘dressing up’ for dinner. Asking a simple question will encourage an otherwise shy or reticent person to engage in much-needed conversation. Kind Dining® training continues to direct the food serving staff to expand their own intelligence, responsibility, and to improve the food serving protocols installed in your community. Remember to wear your name tags so people may speak to you personally. Smile and make eye contact so others may read the twinkle in your eyes the smile they can’t see under your mask that you are happy to be serving their meal.

The food serving team is the most valuable community asset it has. They set the dining ambiance for your resident whether it is the community dining room or their private room where they are now taking their meals. It still is the most significant time of the day for your residents. The brief social interaction received during the dining hour presently comes from the food serving team. Hospitality is always the key factor and just as essential as ever.

Our B Kind ® Tip: Practice your Kind Dining® skills every day until they come naturally!

The #3 Truth That You Cannot Ignore

The #3 Truth That You Cannot Ignore

Truth # 3 The Gap Between Expectation and Service.

What makes my husband and I drive 1½ hours to dine at a particular restaurant when there are six good dining establishments within a mile of our home? Answer: the owners and staff will welcome us with sincere delight. Their service and food will be everything we anticipate. This created ambiance will wrap around us like Grandma’s fuzzy blanket. We will receive full value, plus, for our dollar. Everyone wins!

Your community dining room needs to have that same magnetic draw that makes your residents look forward to mealtimes. It’s time to look at your dining room with the eyes of a first-time guest. The plates leaving the kitchen need to be enticing, the aroma floating up to capture the attention of even the pickiest eater. Pay attention to the time allotted for a relaxing experience at the table. Social interaction is a goal here. This is not the place for your diners to hurry.

While you’re creating this calm atmosphere for your diners, remember to keep the lighting up to a bright level. That is an important item for seniors. The lighting also instills cheerfulness in your servers which will trickle down to those they are serving. Let your serving staff know how important they are and how they directly influence the lives of those in the dining room. Give them the Everyone Wins! idea to carry with them daily.

Often what seems to be a small item to employees is huge to residents. They are elderly, yet they are individuals who have names. It’s important that they are allowed to retain their dignity without condescending references from the staff, at any time. These details are brought out when your staff is trained by Kind Dining®. Plus, staff will wear their Kind Dining® pins with pride as they carry your Senior Residence to success.

Remember that as federal regulations are now tightening, the spotlight shines on the dining room.

The #2 Truth That You Cannot Ignore!

The #2 Truth That You Cannot Ignore!

Truth #2 Mealtimes are the Core of Your Community.

Mealtimes are so much more than nourishing the body of each resident. It’s a time to form new, or replenish, the friendships they’ve made in the community and their acquaintance with your servers. Socializing is an important part of their well-being. This takes place at the table. Your residents spend 60% of their day focusing on mealtimes. It’s a time for them to leave their home (room) to go ‘out’ to eat. The news they will hear in the dining room is more important to them than what the newscaster tells them on TV.

At times, your servers will need to act the part of the social host, introducing new residents or suggesting one particular person meet another because of an interest they share. Your servers will shine in satisfaction with the results of these efforts. This is a time for the dining room to be one big, happy, family. It is also in your best interest if all residents come to the dining room rather than sit in their room because of shyness. This is a labor-saving preference for your servers and your kitchen staff.

Your chef has usually completed his timely work by the time seniors are sitting down to enjoy his efforts. This is an ideal time for your chef to come into the dining room, smiling, to say ‘Hello, I hope you are you enjoying your food.” Your residents will instantly know he cares. This is the habit of fine restaurants because it works wonders.

Meals must be served on time. The first fifteen minutes sets the pace, reinforcing the residents’ belief that everything is in order and the community is the most wonderful place to be.

Kind Dining© knows how to train your staff as a team working together so that everyday’s mealtimes go as smoothly as Grandma’s holiday dinners. The residents will be as happy as the family that sat around her table.

6 Truths You Cannot Ignore!

6 Truths You Cannot Ignore!

Truth # 1 is a trumpet announcing that your dining room is the best marketing tool you have!

It’s the authentic showcase to the public, the foundation of social life in your community. It’s where your residents will break bread with their family and friends during visits. When they don’t have visitors, mealtimes are when they connect with the other residents to form friendships.

Family guests will carry their perceptions back to the office, to BBQs, and to committee meetings where they will boast, or not, where Mom is spending her days. Happiness; they want to tell everyone how happy Mom is. There is a way to secure these impressions are carried away from your community and in your favor.

The Kind Dining® way is to unite all the company working together as a top-notch team. The intent is to add management, kitchen, and ancillary staff working with the serving staff. Include the marketing department in your objectives to enact the culture change that is in demand today. Pride will abound when your residents begin responding to the consideration they deserve during all mealtimes.

A noticeable difference is made when community engagement, which includes all staff, understands and promotes socializing over meals. Incorporate your servers to wear nametags and to introduce themselves to your residents like the best restaurants do. Be sure that the print is large and bold enough for a senior to see easily. When your residents put a name to a face that is improving their daily life, your marketing soars to the top. This is a small step in your community marketing that brings in happy moments to work for you.

Parade Magazine and Random Acts of Kindness Foundation say that the year 2017 has been designated ‘The Kindness Year’.   Enjoy it. Promote it. Slide it into your marketing program. Your residents will love it and you, too.