A table of six artists gathered together at their local cafe after having their COVID 19 vaccinations. They had stayed virtually in touch for more than a year and now rejoiced at finally seeing each other in person. At first, everyone spoke at once wanting to relieve themselves of all the pent-up information they wanted to share. When the over-excitement settled, one artist thanked everyone for welcoming her friend to this table of long-time friends.
“Look at us,” she said. “We are like Rockwell’s Freedom from Want painting of the Thanksgiving table but besides being multi-generational, we are also multi-cultural and so diverse! Plus, you welcomed a stranger. It reminds me why I chose you all as friends, besides your being top artists, of course.”
Everyone laughed at the comment about being good artists. Another artist spoke up and said, “Well, why wouldn’t we? It’s who we are and have been since we all met in art class so many years ago.”
“All my classmates in college did not respond in the same way. I painfully remember my first time in the cafeteria when I was discouraged from sitting at some tables. I was new, young, different-looking, and hated eating alone. I still don’t choose to eat alone. I like company and conversation with good food. Actually, any food.”
Everyone laughed again but remembered those early days of becoming adults and how rejection felt.
Many dining rooms in older adult communities are reopening. Some residents will face the problem of being rejected from a dining table if they are recently new to the community. Enter your well-trained food serving team. It’s a situation they can help a resident avoid if the food server is alert and aware that these incidents still happen. Those college-age kids are now retiring adults. Some have never changed. Kind Dining♥ coaches how food servers can guide a recent resident to tables they know will welcome a new resident with pleasure. This is one of the many skills that can improve a food serving team’s performance. With awareness and practice, your food servers can accept more responsibilities and become more confident of their place in the work they do. Adding responsibility adds self-esteem which increases leadership competence. In turn, this will open the door to bonding food servers to work as a team. A team working toward the same goal gains strength as they become aware of their own importance to the company who has invested good training for their betterment.