November 2014 - Making a difference in the food service industry

In October, we asked Food Service Workers whether or not they make a difference in their workplace. We received some wonderful stories. Here is a story from our first place winner!

I have been working in food service for seven years now, inclusive of two years experience in the retirement home. I can say that in this industry, though busy and exhausting at times, there are also rewards and perks! When you work in a restaurant, it’s mostly the tips, but in retirement homes, it’s the appreciation that the seniors enjoyed their meals because of one's excellent service!

I believe that the role my colleagues and I play is crucial to the well-being and quality of life for the residents/seniors. We take part in their daily nourishment and make the home feel like it’s not far from what they used to consider their homes. The dining room is their primary social hub, where they talk with other residents about anything, but particularly how good or bad the food and service is.

The institution I'm currently employed in is independent living and it has been in operation for over two years now. I am one of the pioneer staff and I've seen people come and go. I treat residents as if they're my own folks. If I see a senior who's not settled in the place yet, I try my best to make them feel at home. I talk to them like a friend or a family (whichever I think suits the situation) and try to meet any special needs that are related to food. There's one particular resident who is always in a bad mood and some of my co-workers just gave up on her. I tried my best to be patient and in the end, she thanked me for looking after her and for being nice (a rewarding feeling that just gave me a teary eye). I'm also a sucker for classic songs; I sing along with other residents in the dining room while I’m doing some side duties!

My presence as a Dining Resident Attendant has a very positive effect on the residents. I feel good if they missed me on the weekend when I was off, when they complement my prompt & excellent service, when they laugh at my silly jokes and especially when they understand if we have a crazy busy day at work and service might be a little delayed than usual. In my humble opinion, my place of work will be little less happy if I wasn't there because I go beyond my job description by putting my heart into my work.

Thank you for reading,

Jogaia Garcia-Silang
Dining Resident Attendant
Richmond Hill Retirement Residence

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