Hospitality is the key…

I just read in a culture change newsletter about a community that has created a new title for dining staff called hospitality associates. This particular community is set up in neighborhoods, they adjusted breakfast dining times for a more leisurely approach ( 7am-9am) to allow residents flexibility in their morning routine. What they discovered in this process is that there was more time for staff to interact with residents on a one to one basis and genuinely connect.

I love this! This is what happens when we practice hospitality in its true context. We get to know each other and welcome a new relationship. We discover as we interact, that we do make a difference in the lives of each person we serve.

I see this taking place in communities I work with as we teach servers the importance of their role: here is an example of “a mind-set” change in a server after a Kind Dining training workshop at an assisted living community in Montana:

My server, Kayla was one of many servers who took the time to seek me out to thank me for including them in the training seminar. She is a college student with restaurant service experience. She said that she was impressed with the amount of useful information that she hadn’t known and said “I actually found the seminar to be inspirational”. She went on to explain that while restaurant service is more upbeat: knowing and caring for the residents took her service contribution to a different level. She said the seminar really enlightened her as how important her role is to our residents and how she can really make a difference in her capacity as a server/extended family member.

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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