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What’s it like to work in an aged care home servery?

If you have a passion for serving delicious, healthy food, and making a genuine difference in the lives of older people, working in a care home servery might be the perfect career for you.

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08 May 2023

Stories | Aged Care Homes

What’s it like to work in an aged care home servery?

If you have a passion for serving delicious, healthy food, and making a genuine difference in the lives of older people, working in a care home servery might be the perfect career for you.

Food preparation and delivery is one of the most important aspects of aged care. Not only does good nutrition contribute to better physical health for elderly residents, but the regular enjoyment of a delicious meal also has a big impact on their emotional wellbeing.

With many cultural associations, the flavours and smells of food can bring back positive memories for residents, helping them to quickly feel settled and at home in an aged care home.

Sitting down each day to a hearty, homely meal that reminds them of their own family mealtimes can be life changing, and, as a servery employee, you have the unique opportunity to contribute to this.

Our blog investigates what it’s like to work in a care home servery, the highs and lows of this career, and what makes an exceptional servery employee.

What do servery staff do?

Servery employees help to create a homely, comfortable environment for elderly residents to enjoy their dining experiences each day.

An aged care dining room isn’t meant to be like a fine dining restaurant. It’s somebody’s home. Servery staff work hard to nurture this kind of environment.

They work closely with the chefs, ensuring that food is handled and delivered within strict parameters of the aged care food safety program. This includes making sure that meals are served in the right sized portions, and at the right temperature.

Together, chefs, the servery team, and the care staff work to deliver food that is delicious, healthy, and enjoyable for residents.

Servery work can include:

  • Setting up the dining room in advance of mealtimes
  • Putting together visual menus for each table
  • Interacting with residents, building relationships and trust
  • If residents need help to eat, ensuring that they can see the food, and know what it is that they are eating
  • Being aware of residents’ changing dietary requirements and adapting as necessary
  • Accommodating and respecting residents’ cultural choices when it comes to food
  • Cleaning and tidying up after mealtimes.

What else does the job involve?

Engaging with residents in the aged care home and building a trusting relationship is incredibly important when working in servery.

Many residents may not feel comfortable to speak up when something is wrong with their food, or if they are having difficulty eating. Having that relationship with the servery team can make all the difference for them.

If somebody hasn’t touched their food, it’s up to the servery team to recognise this and flag it with the care team so that they can investigate. It could be that the resident is unwell and has a reduced appetite, or they might be having trouble with swallowing. It could simply come down to personal taste.

Whatever the reason, it’s up to servery staff to cater for each individual’s needs and requirements. A large part of this centres around careful observation during a meal service.

What’s to love about working in servery?

Many servery employees are attracted to this line of work because they’re passionate about aged care, and making a genuine difference in residents’ lives.

This role is about more than just food – it’s about the people, first and foremost.

Engaging with residents, listening to their life stories, and building a bond over time, is one of the most rewarding aspects of the job.

Servery staff also love to connect with people over food, having a particular interest in the benefits of nutrition, flavours, and beautiful food presentation.

What are the challenges of working in servery?

As is the case for all roles that work in aged care, the reality is that we feel the loss when clients pass away. This can be hard if you’ve built up a special relationship with them.

But working in a close team means that you can support one another through the loss, knowing that you made a real difference in someone’s life.

As well as the emotional challenges, working in servery can also be physically demanding. There is a certain amount of pressure involved in plating and delivering anywhere between 60 and 200 meals during a service. Many servery workers enjoy this exciting work, thriving in such a fast-paced environment.

Food needs to remain hot throughout the service, especially for the tables that are served last. It’s important to consider logistics, mixing up the serving order so that the same tables are not served last every day.

What does it take to be an exceptional servery employee?

Great servery teams have a passion for people. At BaptistCare, they embody our values of Love, Respect, Reliability, and Empowerment, focusing everything they do around the wellbeing of each resident.

A successful servery employee is also particular about plating the food neatly, serving a beautifully presented dish every time.

Lastly, they are a team player. Working closely with the care team and kitchen staff, they play a valuable part in the delivery of exceptional aged care.

View the current servery job vacancies

Work for an award-winning organisation

By choosing to work in servery for BaptistCare, you would be joining one of Australia’s largest and most trusted providers of aged care, proudly delivering loving, respectful, and reliable care to thousands of people across NSW and the ACT.

Our staff are the heartbeat of BaptistCare, living out our values of Love, Respect, Reliability, and Empowerment in the amazing work they do each day.

BaptistCare was ranked 10th best place to work in the 2022 Australian Financial Review BOSS list under the Government, Education & NFP category and, in November 2022, we were one of only 30 organisations recognised by Diversity Council Australia as an Inclusive Employer 2022-23. 

Be rewarded with the JOIN bonus scheme

We are always on the lookout for talented, passionate people to join the BaptistCare team, and now we are rewarding them with a new joiner’s bonus payment.

As part of our JOIN bonus scheme, those who choose to join BaptistCare as permanent full-time or permanent part-time staff members between March and August 2023 will be eligible for two bonus payments – one after six months of employment, and the other after a year.

Learn more about the Join Bonus

Find aged care jobs near me:

Join us! Apply for an aged care job with BaptistCare in four easy steps:

  1. Search for a job at BaptistCare via our current job opportunities page
  2. Sign in or create an account in minutes
  3. Complete your application - Upload your résumé and supporting information or apply using your up-to-date LinkedIn or SEEK profile.
  4. Confirm, review, and submit

We will email a confirmation acknowledging that your application has been submitted. Our Talent Team will review your application and will advise you of the outcome via email or phone.