Is a Teammate Having a Hard Day? What Builds a Team?

My friend’s brother Bob, who owned a bistro, told me about the difficulty he had with a chef. The food she prepared was excellent. She even brought some of her own recipes. But she refused to come out of the kitchen to say hello to the steady customers who wanted to meet the chef who cooked their wonderful food. These steady customers spent their money to support this business. The bistro was personal to them. She was temperamental.  Her people skills were less than desirable as she also created a lack of self-confidence in the young wait staff. The last straw of her resistance to fit into the formerly smooth running bistro, she refused to attend the compulsory training session. As a chef she felt above it all. Continuing to learn and to listen to those she worked with was not on her agenda. She was let go the following day.

Managing a bistro is probably not as complex as the kitchen and dining room of a retirement community serving a large number of people from various backgrounds and demands 24/7. Yet there are many basics that need to be learned by each person involved in making the entire food environment of your community one that runs as smoothly as any first class restaurant.

Strong leaders within this environment can build a foundation of higher values that the others will want to become a part of the team. While the community may lose a kitchen worker or dining room server now and then, the strong framework of the team will produce a dining complex to ensure that higher standards prevail.

Yes, it takes empathy, knowledge, patience, and the desire to truly want to serve seniors that may be cranky or picky because their meds are off or they have a personal disappointment on a particular day. Kind Dining® training will show the way to problem solve issues that may arise, how working together as a team strengthens every area of food service. The kitchen staff and the servers in the dining room can each reinforce the responsibilities of the others, to form a formidable team.

A chef in the kitchen must be willing to embrace the challenge of food preparation in appearance, nutrition, taste, in satisfying the desires of the culture mix of diners.  Ideally the chef must be willing to bond with those serving his creations in the best possible way. Dedication to a person-centered philosophy in your community builds a solid foundation that improves relationships within the team and will overflow onto your dining residents and their guests.

The Kind Dining commitment to training and on-going education is the heart of helping communities build the team that excels in the most important area of the community- the dining rooms.

Our B♥ Kind® Tip:  Is a teammate having a hard day? Ask if there’s anything you can do to help.

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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