What is your truth about food service?

Aiden met Robert during a break after a staff meeting at his new position in a senior living community. He was rather new in the field and repeated what he learned in his earlier classes while still in school, that there was always something new to learn in keeping up with the latest in retirement living. “Yes,” said Robert, “but I’ll let you in on a secret that you can rely on. There are some absolute truths that are standard. If you recognize them and live by them, you will be successful in your field and your company will be delighted to call you their employee.”

That statement piqued Aiden’s curiosity so he asked for more information about this secret. Robert went on to tell him. 

“I’ve had Kind Dining♥ training where I learned to close the gap between the residents’ high expectation in service and the food serving staff just doing their job.  We’ve learned to work as a team, helping each other when needed. We also make the effort to know each person we serve; call them by name and make sure they know our names. It’s important to all of us to do more than just serve a meal especially now when times are so unpredictable during this pandemic. Many of our older adults are separated from family or have none. Our residents appreciate our being personal while we are serving their meals. We’ve learned that many things that seem trivial to us are hugely important to people in this older generation. It is important to their dignity for us to honor their expectations.  Don’t you agree that extending hospitality and a friendly presence aids in their healthcare?”

Aiden thought about that for a few minutes. It certainly made sense to him.

“We share our work experiences and discuss solutions and ideas at our meetings. This bonds us as a food serving team and our residents benefit from that. The previous generations that came to retirement or assisted living communities were of a simpler nature, meaning without the sophistication of the Boomers that come to us now. It is necessary to offer quality service, fulfilling the expectations of a healthier, wealthier, higher educated generation. I keep in mind what someone once told me in reference to a poorly trained food serving staff. It’s like building a Formula One race car and putting a Little Old Lady from Pasadena behind the wheel. I carry that thought with me.”

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

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy Heilman MS, DTR: Cindy Heilman has over 25 years of experience in enhancing hospitality, and food service standards. She is the CEO of her own company, Higher Standards LLC, and creator of Kind Dining® Training. Her unique background in restaurant ownership, in hospitality and healthcare food service, in working as a Dietetic Technician Registered and Healthcare Specialist at SYSCO Foodservices, led her to the development of her exclusive program that improves relationships and lives of aging residents through the dining experience.

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