What Attracts Residents to Your Community?

My friend’s brother opened a small lunch only bistro in a small town back in the 90s. The ambiance was warmth with black and white tiled floor and checkered tablecloths. Toulouse Lautrec hung on the walls. His wait staff was welcoming in French apron over black pants and white shirt-style dress, with full knowledge of each day’s menu and dish ingredients. Their attitudes were pleasantly friendly. His advertising budget was small and he would depend more on word-of-mouth than any other way. How was he going to attract people to come in and try his home cooked foods?

Knowing the next town south of him had been settled by Eastern Europeans in the early twentieth century and generations of those families still remained there, he borrowed a recipe from a friend for cabbage soup. When he featured it the following week his bistro filled up with ladies who grew up on cabbage soup, holding high standards about it. They came to check out his cooking skills and came back each week to taste his other offerings. He was in!

There are many similarities between retirement communities but the dining room is the place that makes a community stand out above the rest. That is what Kind Dining® does; it teaches the intricacies of training your servers to stand out with their attitudes, knowledge, and service. It’s easy to think that all who apply to work in your community know how to treat people with friendly respect, serve meals properly, and to excel at customer care. People are not raised with the training necessary to be an award-winning community. Developing the personal and professional skills is what will change habits that are insufficient and damaging to the reputation of your community.  Commit developing your serving staff’s skills to ensure all residents receive the same level of service in your dining room. Raise service standards and quality that will attract customers to you over the competition.

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Setting higher standards in dining is a positive change; embrace it!

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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