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Nothing ensures the success of a senior dining operation like a well-trained staff, and nothing ensures your success in this fast-growing industry like having the right skills. The SDA offers industry-leading training opportunities for old pros and beginners alike. Whether you want to learn a new job, polish up a few rusty techniques, or catch up on the latest in industry trends and best practices, our expert trainers will have you doing a great job.

SDA 2019 Live Training Schedule Will Be Available Soon.

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2019 Live Training Locations


Training Testimonials

Amazing meeting, highly recommend for anyone that has any interactions in senior dining.   

Christi White - Area Business Development Manager, US Foods

As an Equipment and Supplies sales professional I am always eager to develop a deep understanding of what my customers face in all aspects of their roles in Food Service not just E&S.  The SDA sales training captured everything and more, and far exceeded my expectations.  I now feel like I have a better understanding of the challenges, tasks and vision that Food service professionals face while trying to escalate Senior Dining.  I’m anxious to learn more and continue to grow with SDA! 

Becky Smith - Project Executive, Clark Foodservice Equipment

Senior Dining Association is an association opportunity to learn and develop in your profession. Harris Ader pulled together a very informative and collaborative meeting.  

Elizabeth Mason - CSM, National Sales, US Foods

You have the opportunity to ensure that an SDA training comes to your area in 2019.

Minimum requirements of 25 participants needed for each training.

Please contact us to learn more. Email us at info@seniordining.org or call us at 980-434-1114



SDA Live Training Descriptions


Engaging training for administrators with all levels of experience in foodservice. Your staff will benefit from our enhanced live trainings on dining operations and best practice round-table discussions. Topics from our expertly-led training classes include industry trends, how to generate revenue, cost control and understanding dining operations.

You will learn:

  • Understanding industry trends from a dining perspective
  • Rethinking how dining can help grow your top line
  • Enhancing your current dining program by creating more choice without increasing cost
  • Food, Labor and Direct Costs: Understanding how to manage bottom-line costs more effectively and focus on the ins & outs of food cost
  • Meal Plan Options: Taking a look at the various meal plan options used currently by organizations 
  • Staffing Structure: When is it time to change the current structure? Understanding how to evaluate & implement change
  • Dining operational systems: Enhance your community by rethinking systems
  • Improving consistency by creating dining standards and measuring results
  • Branding & marketing your dining program with you menus
  • Creating Synergy in the Community: Exploring ways to systematize and work effectively with all department heads to ensure continuity of service for the community
  • Round-Table Discussion: Talking about relevant topics, best practices and sharing experiences


Successful executive chefs must have great culinary skills but even better management skills. We will take a deep dive into planning, time management, leadership development, menu development, purchasing, budgeting, systemizing kitchen operations and more.

You will learn:

Food Cost Control: Determining how to manage food costs more effectively. With a keen focus on ordering, purchasing, reducing waste, improper costing, overproduction, using the right product for the right application

Creating Structure & Accountability: Developing and using systems to increase organization effectiveness

Improving Consistency: Exploring how operational inconsistencies negatively effect residents & staff. Learn ways to identify inconsistencies in your operation and to develop sustainable systems to maintain that consistency

Menu Development:
Learning best practices in menu engineering and increasing choice without increasing cost

Leadership Development: Developing skills to effectively inspire, direct, and communicate with your staff.  An essential skill of a leader is being a good communicator and a vital part of communication is having great listening skills

Round-Table Discussion: Brainstorming about industry trends, best practices, retention strategies and shared experiences

Product Cutting: Learning how to evaluate the best products for your operation by comparing taste, yield and consistency among similar products

Culinary Demonstration: Engaging in interactive learning to sample new foods that could enhance your menu

Modified Foods Demonstration: Learning enhanced techniques for making great purees & mechanically altered foods

Systemizing Kitchen Operations: Comprehensively focusing on developing and using systems to increase productivity, consistency and daily kitchen operations

Menu & Recipe Development: Exploring best practices in menu engineering, product cross utilization and developing an effective recipe



Interactive training for dining directors concentrating on operational excellence. Topics from our expertly-led training classes include industry trends, personalized community evaluations for creating a baseline of success, reducing inconsistencies & leadership development. 

You will learn:

Cost Control, Food, Labor and Direct Cost: Enhancing knowledge of management of bottom-line costs with a focus on understanding, mitigating & reducing waste while increasing productivity and evaluating staffing patterns 

Creating Structure & Accountability: Comprehensively focusing on developing and using systems to increase organization effectiveness

Improving Consistency: Exploring how operational inconsistencies negatively effect residents & staff. Gain tools to identify inconsistencies in your operation and to develop sustainable systems to correct the inconsistency 

Menu Development: Learning best practices in menu engineering and increasing choice without increasing cost
 

Culinary Demo: Engaging in interactive learning to sample new foods that could enhance your menu 

Leadership Development: Developing skills to effectively inspire, direct, and communicate with your staff. An essential part of a leader is being a good communicator and a vital part of communication is having great listening skills. 
  

Creating Synergy in the Community: Exploring ways to systematize and develop a process to work effectively with your other department heads to ensure continuity of service for the community 

Round-Table Discussion: Brainstorming  about industry trends, best practices, retention strategies and shared experiences 



Senior Dining 2 Day Boot Camp is an intense educational workshop designed to support industry professionals in understanding the core set of skills and knowledge to help them run their operations efficiently.

This workshop is perfect for professionals new to the senior dining industry, those recently promoted & seasoned Chefs and Directors of Dining. 

You will learn:

Cost Control, Food, Labor and Direct Costs:  Understanding how to manage bottom-line costs more effectively with a focus on mitigating & reducing waste, increasing productivity and evaluating staffing patterns

Creating Structure & Accountability: Comprehensively focusing on developing and using systems to increase organization effectiveness

Improving Consistency: Exploring how operational inconsistencies negatively effect residents & staff. Learning ways to identify inconsistencies in your operation and develop sustainable systems to maintain that consistency

Menu Development: Learning best practices in menu engineering and increasing choice without increasing cost 

Culinary Demonstration: Engaging in interactive learning to sample new foods that could enhance your menu

Leadership Development: An essential skill of a leader is being a good communicator and a vital part of communication is having great listening skills. This interactive session will focus on developing skills to effectively communicate with your staff.  

Creating Synergy in the Community: Exploring ways to systematize and develop a process to work effectively with your other department heads to ensure continuity of service for the community 

Product Cutting: Learning how to evaluate the best products for your operation by comparing taste, yield and consistency among similar products

Modified Foods Demonstration: Learning enhanced techniques for making great purees & mechanically altered foods

Systemizing Kitchen Operations: Comprehensively focusing on developing and using systems to increase productivity, consistency and daily kitchen operations.

Menu & Recipe Development: Exploring best practices in menu engineering, product cross utilization and developing an effective recipe 

Food Cost Control: Determining how to manage food costs more effectively. With a keen focus on ordering, purchasing, reducing waste, improper costing, overproduction, using the right product for the right application 

Round-Table Discussion: Brainstorming about industry trends, best practices, retention strategies and sharing experiences 



Engaging one day training offered to all sales associates serving the senior dining industry, focused on the ins & outs of daily operations of a senior living community. Key emphasis on understanding the customers they serve; challenges operators face, budgeting, meal plans and trends in the industry.

You will learn:

Senior Dining Operations: Analyzing daily dining operations in various types communities and challenges operators face

Meal Plan Options: Understanding various types of meal plans including their purpose and implementation Budgeting & 

Spend: Discussing food, labor & direct costs and how budgets are developed for different sized communities Revenue 

Opportunities: Learning how communities can generate revenue internally & externally 

Senior Dining Trends: Delving into current trends and best practices as modeled around the country 

Round-table Discussion: Reinventing the role of industry partners supporting senior dining operators 



Ideal for newly hired or seasoned industry executives and asset managers to have a better understanding of the 2nd largest cost factors in a community.

You will learn:

Senior Dining Operations: Understanding the ins & outs of daily dining operations in various types communities

Budgeting & Cost Control: Reconciling food & labor cost and discuss why costs fluctuate & how to mitigate such fluctuation

Revenue Opportunities: Learning how to maximize your program internally & externally using proven methods to increase revenue in a community

Senior Dining Trends: Discussing current trends and best practices of communities around the country.

Round-table Discussion: Talking about about renovations, new construction and general dining operations


Upcoming Live Training Classes

No events available

Past events

Tuesday, November 06, 2018 SDA 3 Day Boot Camp
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 Senior Dining 101: Industry Sales Training
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 Operations Training: Director of Dining Services
Wednesday, October 03, 2018 Operations Training: Executive Director Focused
Thursday, September 27, 2018 General Operations Training
Tuesday, September 25, 2018 Operations Training: Executive Chef



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