Do Your Food Servers Give Individual Attention?

When a friend who taught occupational therapy suffered a stroke and wound up in a nursing home for permanent and long term care, she learned a new way to look at what she had been teaching for many years. As her progress restored her to a normal life again she wrote notes about her experience so improvements could be made on the earlier education she taught. She eventually wrote a book about it to help others and their families with decisions they may want to make.

Much later, looking back she realized how fortunate she was in being placed in a nursing home where the caregivers truly did care. Adjusting to mealtimes was major. Food servers showed enough respect for her intelligence by showing her a new way to cut up the food on her plate by using a rocker knife instead of cutting the food for her. As someone who worked hard to return to her former physical self, she didn’t want someone to do it for her. On days when she was thoughtful and quiet, she chose the small dining room off to the side, away from the noisier large cafeteria, appreciating she had a choice of where to eat.

In the earlier days, when she did go into the larger cafeteria, a food server guided her to a table occupied with congenial residents until she acclimated and could choose her own seat. She received individual attention which created a family-like comfort. Food servers called her by name, were cheerful, and encouraging her every step along the way. This was especially important because she had no family living locally. When she fully recovered and returned to her own home, she bought small gifts for many of the food servers and caregivers. She remembered some had gone above the required assistance to lift her spirits when she was frustrated or they just showed extra kindness. She would always remember them.

My Kind Dining® training program was designed to introduce your food servers to being aware of the individual, to unlearn poor serving habits, turning them into skills, and for food servers to become sensitive to residents during their stay in your senior living community. Embracing the new regulations and adapting them into daily routines through my training program will build pride in your food servers and bring sparkle to the eye of the residents in your dining room.

Our B♥ Kind ® Tip: Stop, look and listen. Where can you improve service?

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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