Do you continue your education every day?

It seems multicultural and multiracial items are in headline news every day. Retirement living and long term care residents are more multiracial and multicultural than in the recent past. Today’s retiring seniors are widely traveled and exposed to other cultures by the choices they made in how they lived their lives. Travel, communication, and TV have opened the doors for Americans to learn about people from faraway places and in return, many immigrants have become American citizens. In order to accommodate and welcome seniors with different traditions that retirement communities have seen in our parents’ generation, it is time to continue the education of your food serving teams in your community. They hold the keys to the hospitality your community provides. They are the key to the success of your community.

Each Kind Dining® class is unique depending on the mix of age, gender, culture, and work experience of the participants. The curriculum is consistent with expanded avenues but responds in strength where your group needs it most. With the new generation of residents, even previously trained food servers will benefit from retraining and coaching. Educated and trained individuals are about community and community means belonging to a group. It is vital that food servers are aware they are part of that group. Further, teamwork is a goal for food servers to achieve with their coworkers. The food serving team is important to your company’s reputation; how they serve meals matters! 

Food servers can encourage residents to talk about their traditions and uniqueness in order to begin conversations and to gain knowledge. The friendlier food servers appear while performing their service, the more at home residents will feel. It’s significant for residents of cultures new to the community, to attain that homey feeling. Empathy from your food serving team tends to boost hospitality and kindness. It is easy to misunderstand culture staff are not familiar with but if they are alert and aware, potential misunderstandings can be avoided. Body language plays a major role in avoiding social disasters. A resident is less likely to react negatively when the food server is obviously appearing in a kind and considerate manner. Remember to smile, make eye contact with the resident you are serving, share a kind word, and call them by name.

Our B♥ Kind® Tip:  Food servers help residents overcome feeling isolated, yet still have a sense of belonging. 

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy Heilman MS, DTR: Cindy Heilman has over 25 years of experience in enhancing hospitality, and food service standards. She is the CEO of her own company, Higher Standards LLC, and creator of Kind Dining® Training. Her unique background in restaurant ownership, in hospitality and healthcare food service, in working as a Dietetic Technician Registered and Healthcare Specialist at SYSCO Foodservices, led her to the development of her exclusive program that improves relationships and lives of aging residents through the dining experience.

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