Body language: Actions mean more than words


Non-verbal cues speak volumes when it comes to the dining experience.

Companionship and chatter around the table are at the heart of happy meal memories. Social interactions also are a part of serving food, and your team’s bad body language can spoil the dining experience.

For servers, sometimes it’s not what you say, but how you say it. Training your healthcare, long-term care and senior living team to be aware that body language, posture and tone of voice can carry more meaning than words.

Maintain positive body language

Here are some simple things that influence guest satisfaction: 

  • Smile whenever appropriate.
  • Keep your head up.
  • Face the guest when communicating.
  • Maintain eye contact, but don’t stare.
  • Nod occasionally when guests are talking.
  • Stand with good posture, relax your shoulders.
  • Keep a positive attitude.

Avoid common mistakes

Eaten several times a day, meals should be fun and engaging. Don’t let these little gestures ruin the guest experience:

  • Lack of eye contact.
  • Staring.
  • Arm-crossing. 
  • Eye-rolling.
  • Frowning.
  • Poor posture.
  • Touching the face.
  • Fidgeting.

Look sharp

Personal appearance and hygiene also affect the meal experience. Write out a personal appearance and hygiene policy to reflect your desired image and brand. Train your team and enforce the standards you set. Some guidelines:

  • Uniforms must be neat and clean (discuss questions with a supervisor).
  • Name tags should be clearly displayed. 
  • Jewelry is best kept to a minimum (to avoid hazards and contaminants).
  • Employees should be clean and well-groomed. 
  • Team members should make one final check before serving.

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