How is your food service training progressing?

Kind Dining

After some fast-paced games of basketball, a shower, and a change of clothes, Matthew and David drove to their favorite Burger, Fries, & Beer Tavern with hearty appetites and a thirst for discussion about the latest news of their long term living communities. With so many senior care communities short-staffed, they had stories to trade with each other.

A spicy aroma filled the air and grumbled their stomachs while waiting for lunch to be served. Matthew began, “We’ve had our first training session with the new, onboarding food servers hired.  My supervisor was lucky to find a few candidates since the hiring pool is so sparse now. The pandemic has hit us hard.  On the other hand, I’m happy to be getting some guidance on what exactly I am supposed to be doing while filling in as a food server during the lunch hour.”

David, though he worked at a different care community, smiled with understanding. “I think we’re all in the same boat as far as employee shortage goes. What did you think of the new food servers?”

“They were eager to learn,” Matthew replied. “Shy, at first, about speaking up and asking questions. One woman speaks 2 languages and is fast adding English to her list. It isn’t perfect English but much better than my Spanish or Italian, which is nil. She seems to be a natural with serving food basics. I’m surprised at how much I do not know about serving food and its relationship with our residents. I like using this new knowledge, the part about getting to know the residents by name and making small talk. I never thought of that before. I realize with the pandemic and the restrictions on social life, that they truly appreciate some connection to those of us who are part of their daily life. I even like working as part of the food serving team. Kind of like playing on the basketball team, even though I’m only considered temporary. I’m learning quickly.”

“I’m remembering what you tell me and will use it to convince my boss that we need training sessions for all of our food servers, including those pulled from other departments, and the onboarding of new employees,” David said. “We need to hold onto the employees we have instead of always replacing the ones that left. I want to make him realize that. Thanks for sharing your experience.”

Our Kind Dining♥ on demand-eLearning series delivers consistent training and is comprised of 9 training modules divided into 3 sections. Each module varies in length depending on the topic, and it takes 8 hours to complete all 9 sessions. We begin with the Foundation of Service-Modules 1-3, move into the Nuts and Bolts of Service-Modules 4-6, and finish with Polishing Service Modules 7-9.  We have seen effective behavior change with ongoing implementation of principles taught and we recommend communities embrace an all-hands-dining or similar approach to dining service.   We are committed to helping you keep your food servers and your newly hired employees, as an educated, invested team.

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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