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 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.

Kind Holiday Dining

Kind Holiday Dining

Now is a good time to pay attention to particulars that may arise with the holidays coming up on the horizon. Seniors often prefer inviting family and friends to the community instead of breaking their routines by going out. This proved to be true when an informal poll taken in several communities in December 2016 was published in the Huffington Post, by Laura Dixon. It revealed that 50 to 80 percent of their residents chose this option.

It also provides the perfect opportunity, with decorations creating a warm, cozy feeling in your facility, to allow your residents’ guests to experience your dining room superiority when they notice the positive attitude of your Kind Dining-trained servers and the personal attention paid to each resident. When these culture changes appear, your residents know that someone is listening to them. The dining room is your greatest asset!

At this time of the year, when your clients are sentimental and missing their former lives. A thoughtful consideration goes a long way to soothing a sad resident. Introducing specialty holiday foods will be noticed and greatly appreciated. These small additions to the menu will fill many pockets of yearning and your residents will introduce a remembered story to tell their dining companions. This is so important, socially, in forming new friendships in the dining room.

Since the dining room is the heart of the community where residents socialize during their three meals a day, it is also the ideal place to focus on kindness.  It can turn around an unhappy resident who may be complaining about a food or service, when they are really suffering a change of medicine affecting him adversely or family attention she really craves. Once your servers are trained they will recognize this immediately and be able to respond with kind understanding.

Add the appearance of your chef in the dining room after the main course, asking if they are savoring the meals he created especially for their holiday enjoyment and the seniors will know that he really is putting their desires first. This holiday season turn your facility into an exceptional community that speaks for itself by using Truths 1, 2, & 6 from the Six Truths.  #1:  Mealtime is the Best Marketing Tool for Your Community. #2: Seniors in the Community Focus on Meal Times. #6 Investing in Your Employees is Best for Culture Change.

Learn more about the 6 truths in 5 minutes, by watching the video on our website.

Be sure to watch for our new Table tips message on Tuesday’s beginning next month, and our Share a Kindness Today, Thursday Blog posts.

Thank you for choosing Higher Standards as your training partner, and Kind Dining as your training tool.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, the people you serve, friends and family,

Holiday Truth

Holiday Truth

Kind Dining Six Truths are especially important during the end-of-the-year holidays beginning with Thanksgiving.

Truth #3 teaches that residents will appreciate being served by positive thinking staff during this joyous season. This bringing warmth to the table® will greatly help to keep the blues at bay for many residents who are adjusting to this new pattern of life. Happiness is contagious and passes between the serving staff and all they serve. It grows from there.

Picture taking is more popular than ever today as seen on Social Media. Residents can make memory books filling them with photos taken around their Thanksgiving and Christmas decorated home that includes new friends, family gatherings, and gingerbread house or centerpiece competitions set up in the dining room. Even special holiday meals and desserts are selected subjects for the camera.

Contented residents who have found what they expected in a community, (Truth # 4) full of pride in where they live, far exceeds a paid advertisement and carries more weight when the word is passed along.  In Truth # 5 we learned that well-trained servers become competent employees who have learned how to be cognizant of your client’s needs and are delighted to be part of making them happy. This investment in your employees multiplies, affecting the community in the most positive way.

You will want the dining room to have a look of exciting holiday festivities, inviting with the aroma of food cooked with care, servers who smile, and soft seasonal music to enhance your community mood is kindness at its best.

New federal guidelines are moving into the community. The end of the year season is a time for adding new ways of doing things, of making culture changes that are good for all, for working together to make life easier and more content, for residents and staff that are trained with kindness in mind, regardless of which job they do. There is a passion in hospitality. This is Kind Dining®.

The #5 Truth About Your Business That You Cannot Ignore!

The #5 Truth About Your Business That You Cannot Ignore!

Truth #5: You’re Most Dependent on Your Lowest Paid, Least Trained Staff.

Raising dining standards most effectively means training all your staff to shine in the dining room. It does not mean adding a faux palm tree in the corner of the room. Your servers and ancillary staff are your direct link to your residents. The servers generally come to you completely untrained. Yet you depend on them more than anyone to create a comfortable, but professional, contentment in the dining room. Since the residents find mealtimes the most important, and social, times of the day, it is imperative that your staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and trained to put your best foot forward. The residents who are unhappy with their mealtimes, but won’t necessarily complain, will move to a community that does fulfill their mealtime anticipation. This loss of revenue and the cost of getting them to stay in your community, can be avoided by Kind Dining ® training. When your servers learn to utilize a pleasant genuine greeting with the your diners, they will address them by name, not “honey” or “you guys” showing the respect due to them. Your residents’ appreciation will rise considerably. They will take note of this small, but hugely important detail. Visitors and guests to the dining room will also take note and, as humans do, they will talk about the experience they enjoyed in your community. This is how you grow your community by personal recommendations. It is the best advertising you can get.

When your staff learns through good training, to work together as a team, they will wear their B♥ Kind® pins with pride. They will take their new responsibilities to heart and that will overflow to others. This personal attention will also overflow to other areas in your community. When meeting in the hallway or a game room or any other place, your staff will have a personal connection to your resident, their name. When you use a name, you put your best foot forward, create a smile on those you greet and how can life get any better than that?