Do Your Food Servers Create an Ambiance in the Dining Room?

Linda’s mother Anna moved from her retirement community after living there for only a year. “I never really felt at home there.” She said. “This new community that Linda found made me feel like they were truly happy to have me here. I’m greeted in the dining room with a smile, a how-are-you-settling-in-so-far? The food servers recognized my being new, right from the beginning, making me feel like they noticed I was there and they cared. The hostess seated me at a table of singles who welcomed me as a friend! I fit right in and was no longer a stranger after the first day. Funny, I never did feel like I belonged in the community that I left.”

Anna remarked that sharing mealtimes with like-minded people who had lively discussions was important to her. It was a time of day she enjoyed when raising a family and she missed that after her husband passed away. She also noticed the camaraderie of the food servers with each other and with the other residents creating a family-like situation. “It was like wrapping myself in my grandmother’s quilt, warm and comfortable. I feel like I am starting a whole new life.”

Personalizing service in the dining room builds trust and respect between the food servers and the residents.  If a problem came up with any of the residents the food servers would notice right away because they were attuned to that relationship. Anna noticed immediately that her quality of daily life had improved immensely when she chose to change her residence. She also commented on how the ambiance in the dining room was meaningful to her and it was the spark that began her enjoyment in her new residence.

The food servers were quick to learn in their training session how new techniques in their service would benefit all, including themselves. Kind Dining® has a core belief that teaching people to become life-long learners is elemental to a successful community. The basics of good manners and social skills are the foundation of good service. To quote Lady Mary W. Montague, “Civility costs nothing, and buys everything.”

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Practice showing extra courtesy in the dining room today.


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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