The #3 Truth That You Cannot Ignore

Truth # 3 The Gap Between Expectation and Service.

What makes my husband and I drive 1½ hours to dine at a particular restaurant when there are six good dining establishments within a mile of our home? Answer: the owners and staff will welcome us with sincere delight. Their service and food will be everything we anticipate. This created ambiance will wrap around us like Grandma’s fuzzy blanket. We will receive full value, plus, for our dollar. Everyone wins!

Your community dining room needs to have that same magnetic draw that makes your residents look forward to mealtimes. It’s time to look at your dining room with the eyes of a first-time guest. The plates leaving the kitchen need to be enticing, the aroma floating up to capture the attention of even the pickiest eater. Pay attention to the time allotted for a relaxing experience at the table. Social interaction is a goal here. This is not the place for your diners to hurry.

While you’re creating this calm atmosphere for your diners, remember to keep the lighting up to a bright level. That is an important item for seniors. The lighting also instills cheerfulness in your servers which will trickle down to those they are serving. Let your serving staff know how important they are and how they directly influence the lives of those in the dining room. Give them the Everyone Wins! idea to carry with them daily.

Often what seems to be a small item to employees is huge to residents. They are elderly, yet they are individuals who have names. It’s important that they are allowed to retain their dignity without condescending references from the staff, at any time. These details are brought out when your staff is trained by Kind Dining®. Plus, staff will wear their Kind Dining® pins with pride as they carry your Senior Residence to success.

Remember that as federal regulations are now tightening, the spotlight shines on the dining room.

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy is the founder and owner of Kind Dining®, which she began in 2006. She’s traveled across the country and Canada working with and training senior living communities that want to create an exceptional dining experience for their residents and staff. In addition, she certifies select professionals in her Kind Dining® philosophy and provides tools, now in an eLearning format, that make learning stick and help people put insights into action. As a result of her work, clients often share their staff has a new sense of purpose, get along better and keep their focus and energy on what matters most. In fact, she wrote a book, Hospitality for Boomers on how to attract residents and keep good team members. In her free time, she enjoys walking Oregon trails and cheering on her favorite soccer teams, the Portland Thorns and Timbers.

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