Is this the new normal?

It seems like Halloween, the food serving team is dressing up in weird costumes and carrying grandma’s dust cloth. Actually it’s the attire necessary for today’s responsibility for being on the job. Face masks, gloves, and cover-ups that the surgical team wore in the operating room is now what we see wherever caregivers gather to take care of residents in senior living communities. The dust cloth is probably Clorox wipes in hand wherever they may be needed. It’s the new normal but the old normal for food serving teams has remained the same, adding a little extra to what they have always done.

Many residents will need to have a gentle reassurance served with their meals. They will want to know the news of what is happening inside and outside their area. With time being crunched, trays must have everything on it that your diner will want with the meal, saving time of returning with an item overlooked or forgotten. Kind Dining® teaches that organization and training shows up in times of crisis. Mealtimes need to go just as smoothly regardless of what is going on in the external world. Food servers that excel in senior care are company assets that need to extend serving skills, share camaraderie, and show community spirit. Food servers are called upon to continue their high standards of quality service now when service can be a bit more difficult than the normal times left behind.

You can ask what your residents value most these days. Certainly, the answer is seeing the food server coming through the door to their room. It isn’t only the food. It is everything else the food server brings in, most of all her/his presence. The sound of a voice they recognize and a smiling face they know. 

For forward-thinking administration, remember to show respect by thanking your food servers for their responsibility, loyalty, and courage. Let them know how highly they are valued in the company and by the residents. Surveys repeatedly show appreciation is high on the list of importance to food serving staff.

Our B Kind® Tip: Mealtime means much more than food to our senior residents, now more than ever.

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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