Does your community encourage leadership in your food servers? 

We often can benefit from learning a new way of doing something we’ve always done without thought. This applies to the workday of many food servers in the community of older adults. Learning how to work smarter on the job, by finding solutions to our communication shortcomings is a goal. It takes cooperative teamwork to deliver top-notch food service. Holding a weekly discussion group can lead to finding out where the lines of communication between food server and resident plus food server to coworker have broken and how they can be repaired. Discussions will show where focus and concentration are needed to make positive change. The manner in which your food serving team treats each other is driven by the values of the company. The company establishes those values to open a path of clear direction and guide employees in shaping their behavior on a day to day performance and to bring out the leadership qualities in the community employees. It may surprise you when the leader who evolves is the food server who speaks another language besides English. The housekeeper who steps in to help serve meals during this short-handed time of COVID-19 is a leader. The teenager who works as a food server and often volunteers her assistance to a fellow food server or nurse overloaded with work is definitely a leader in the making when she steps in to help pour coffee and deliver a kind word to diners.

Kind Dining training isn’t simply a talk on how to change your routines. It is full of hands-on practice, interactive group discussion, and knowing how to apply them. Some ways can be corrected easily and take effect immediately, others will take time and practice, practice, practice. Continuing group discussions can only work to help your food serving team to become a smooth conveyance through rekindled education. Communities that excel in resident care and food service turn their servers into company assets. They are your best marketing tool. Teach kindness and courtesy by intertwining them into serving skills. Guide your food serving team to develop camaraderie, lift spirits, and make high standards of quality service a goal to achieve. Role players that emerge from practice sessions can become excellent leaders as they gain experience. They take ownership and become passionate about their work, loving what they do. Their food serving team will overcome the fears of change and the challenge of reaching a higher standard of foodservice. It is vital that the leaders who do move to the front know how to define and demonstrate core company values on a daily basis; values that become second nature to your food-serving team.

B Kind® Tip: Through Kind Dining service, we all can become leaders by being brave enough to make positive changes.

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy Heilman MS, DTR: Cindy Heilman has over 25 years of experience in enhancing hospitality, and food service standards. She is the CEO of her own company, Higher Standards LLC, and creator of Kind Dining® Training. Her unique background in restaurant ownership, in hospitality and healthcare food service, in working as a Dietetic Technician Registered and Healthcare Specialist at SYSCO Foodservices, led her to the development of her exclusive program that improves relationships and lives of aging residents through the dining experience.

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