Do you have days when nothing goes right?

There are days when any commercial kitchen can run into problems. Electrical systems shut down for some unknown reason, the fresh vegetable supply didn’t come in, the chef took ill, the sous chef has poison ivy, and so on. Can those problems be fixed?  A back-up system works, the day’s menu is adjusted, the second or third in command steps into the chef’s shoes. The day may not be perfect but all goes well after all. It’s the same in the community dining room. If there are problems; bonds can be formed between residents and food servers, new servers can learn techniques, attitudes can be adjusted, and new ways can be taught to long-time food servers to make their job easier and more pleasant. (Really-you can come to love this work! It’s very gratifying when you do it right.) 

Kind Dining® can show you ways to work out your problems and show you how to overcome daily disturbances in your dining room routines. First recognize problems by talking with residents and asking their honest opinions and suggestions. What choices would they like to make? 

Create a culture of including newcomers and others unfamiliar to your ‘regulars’ to join them at the table. Directors of the company can show leadership qualities by stopping at different tables to say “hello, I’m happy to see you here today.”  It is always delightful to see the chef come out of the kitchen to accept applause from those he designs menus and creates meals for. This builds community and ties that are appreciated. Having a friendly greeter at the door is the first step in the resident looking forward to mealtimes. Happy mealtimes are the first step in staying healthy, eating with gusto, and wanting to meet new friends and neighbors. 

Introducing one ethnic group to another, with the intention of encouraged intermingling, helps each culture to understand the customs of the other. Understanding opens doors and brings in respect and knowledge that widens one’s world without leaving the community. Celebrate diversity with joy. A climate of inclusion builds relationships that otherwise would not have been made. When staff becomes a part of these plans, they will themselves be enlightened and become important to the community and to the company.

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Building a better community one day at a time.

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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