Do your food servers have days when everything goes wrong?

“Do you ever have a day when everything you touch goes wrong?” Betty said to her husband Joe when she arrived home late from working in a senior living community. “You know I have always loved working in foodservice and enjoy working with the elderly. I’ve known for a long time that I’ll never be a millionaire, but who wants all that responsibility anyway? Besides, I do love my job, my coworkers, the residents, and most everything else. We do have a good food service team that works together until the newbie showed up today.”

Joe laughed at her comment. Wanting to offer sympathy, he said, “What happened? Nothing serious, I hope?”

“Oh, to start the day, our new girl who hasn’t had any training yet seems to be in the way of everyone else who knows what to do and when to do it. She seems to know nothing about food service, working with older people, or even just showing good manners. She totally lacks common sense and complains when one of us tries to help her and shows her how to do something. I don’t know how they are going to tolerate her work, or lack of work, habits. I think she is here for the paycheck, only. We all know that doesn’t go over well. It’s important to care about your work.”

“Why does the company turn her loose on the job with no skills at all?”

“Well, we’re so short-handed and administration seems to think everyone knows how to serve a meal and hold a conversation. People tend to believe that when you are good at what you do, you were born with the knowledge naturally. You know that isn’t so. You’ve heard me say it often enough and you’ve seen me practice a new skill when I needed it.” 

“Well, you’re home now. Let’s have a glass of wine to unwind. I’ll even do the pouring and bring it to you.”

Betty has been working in this senior living community for many years and while she does know how to perform, she cheerfully updates her skills when new routines are added to the daily schedule. She realizes the coronavirus has hit her industry hard. Many frontline workers have suffered from working long hours and from burnout.  Newly hired employees need to learn the skills, and routines, and build habits to benefit the residents and the food serving teams. Kind Dining♥ training was designed for the unskilled and for refreshing those who have been on the job for some time. The experiential approach is utilized for interaction, reflection, application, and support. Participants learn the challenges of aging and incorporate empathy when engaging residents on a personal level.

B♥ Kind Tip: It’s imperative your food servers feel empathy about seniors’ aging process.

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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