Does your food service team lead the way?

Tom paused the old footfall game on the TV. “It’s good to be getting back to normal after this last year and a half of Pandemic–caused changes. It feels like little by little we are opening up to life again.”

“I agree with you on that,” said Mike. They both worked in food service, but for different Senior Living communities. “Though I noticed that many of our residents are still shy about coming into the main dining room or even the café. It’s odd how everyone moaned about being isolated, yet now they can socialize again and are hesitant.”

Tom and Mike have been friends for a long time. Mike applied for employment on Tom’s recommendation even though his own community was not hiring at the time. Mike never regretted it since he is a sociable kind of guy, loving the verbal interaction with the residents he served. “At our meeting last week we were instructed to rely on the trust the residents have in us and encourage them to step back into the dining room again. You know how I am with our residents. I’ve already been discussing it with them. Some just need a little reassurance. Others need time to think about it before socially mixing in the dining room or café.”

“We began by offering hot nibbles from the kitchen served from trays circling the room at Happy Hour in the music room. The scent of the food enlivened dull appetites while the piano tinkling favorite old songs relaxed them as they gained confidence in socializing again. Next, we hosted picnics and dinner evenings outdoors on patio settings, this time using a grill to whet appetites. It was a way to cautiously draw people together, but not too close physically. We’re inspiring trust like this football coach does to build a strong team.” Tom pointed to the TV.  “People need a bit of coaxing to let their fear fade away.”

Mike continued about his company’s recent meeting. “The residents aren’t the only people needing reassurance. Many of my coworkers are struggling with anxiety. I agree with the boss’s suggestion that communication with each other, especially using humor, helps put the other food servers at ease. We are still a team! We rely on teammates! We need to help each other in addition to helping our residents! At the meeting, the idea of the residents moving at their own pace in their return to normal, applies to us, too.”

Kind Dining♥ training believes in training new, even part-time employees, brush-up training for long-term employees, and discussions among the employees to seek their ideas and suggestions. These sessions make for good team results just like good football coaching.

Tom and Mike agreed that their discussions of new and old ideas in making their jobs better for themselves and their coworkers.  They both loved the work they did and were happy to find ways to help their teammates to love their work in the same way.

B♥ Kind ®Tip: Be 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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