Do You Know What Your Residents Really Think of Your Servers?

A friend of mine told me about a recent dining experience she suffered through. Her words, not mine. “We were excited, out to an upscale restaurant new to us and celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. Of course we mentioned that fact to the perky young lady that came to us, announcing her name was Brianna and she would be our server tonight. As she handed us each a menu she told us she was a college student, working to help pay her way and dashed off. No congratulations or pleasantry came from her mouth.

The menu was large. When she returned we weren’t ready to order but did ask for glasses of wine and also water. She dashed off again and soon returned taking our order and giving us water. She got busy and just dropped our salads off on her way to another table to take their order. We wanted our wine to whet our appetite. We tried to catch her attention as she buzzed around the room.

Our food arrived hot and steamy and very good. She never did ask us if we enjoyed our meal or if we wanted dessert because she was too busy telling us about how tired she was after tending classes all day. We reminded her that we never did get our wine. Oh, I’ll take if off the check, she said in a nonchalant way as she scratched the amount from the check.”

My friend did the owners a favor. The following day after her anger and disappointment faded, she wrote him a note about their experience. In her note she asked him, “Do you ever watch and listen to your serving staff? Do you know they represent you even before your wonderful food arrived?”

They received an apology and a complimentary dinner. Of course the special moment could not be replaced. Maybe one day they would laugh about it but not for a long time. They accepted his graciousness but when they returned they asked for the best wait person in the restaurant to serve them.

Your dining room is your residents’ restaurant. Good service can smooth over a bad meal but poor service only ruins good food. Kind Dining® trains wait staff to be the best.

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Remember how much time residents anticipate mealtimes and how important dining is to them.

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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