New guidelines: Do old rules apply?

Gail has been a food server in a senior living community for fifteen years. “Our community service team donned masks and closed communal dining early in this pandemic” she reported. “But we still lost some of our food serving team because they were afraid of taking the virus home to their families.”

She went on to comment on how helpful it is to hire food servers with some skills or have in-house courses in place to teach newly hired servers before they even think about picking up a plate. “People don’t realize the skills necessary to have a positive impact on a residents’ dining experience.  Hiring anyone who comes in looking for a job doesn’t work. It is essential to be trained at what we do.”

Food serving teams wearing full personal protective equipment, adhering to intense disinfecting, and physical distancing protocols is the new normal for the foreseeable future. These extraordinary precautions are as fundamental as professionally – trained food servers and will be in force until reliable testing and vaccines are available.

Trained food servers stay on the job because they know how to adapt, take on precautions naturally, and still tend the resident with hospitality. Frequent staff huddles will keep your servers up to date and in touch with any new changes in residents’ status.  The administration must keep the residents and the staff safe while keeping business sustainable. Monthly virtual meetings and frequent communications can reassure the public that your community is still the safe place for the elder in their family.

Kind Dining® training guides you to growing your serving team personally and professionally to impart your community values and standards. Teaching best practices in foodservice, safety, and kindness regardless of it being physically distanced, is still the ideal and training reflects your company’s extended love and care for residents and staff you serve.

Rise to the challenge COVID-19 has placed on the shoulders of every residential and assisted living community by operating from a place of strength and integrity. Be certain all your food serving staff have trained for the highest skills necessary to perform under stressful circumstances wrapped in kindness and consideration. Remember that these are also skills that can be trained to each person you employ.

Teach them to bring warmth to every table. It is needed now more than ever.

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Can you make mealtimes more satisfying for residents during these extraordinary times?

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.

Leave a Comment

Friendly reminder: Please protect other people's confidentiality as appropriate. Thank you!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

7 + 8 =