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Missing community life

Seasoned dining director comes to Riderwood

Created date

July 28th, 2015

Jeff Kimbell, a hospitality professional with 25 years of experience, was recently appointed as director of dining services at Rid.... Kimbell has spent the last nine years of his career as regional director of dining for Erickson Living, the manager and developer of Riderwood, overseeing communities in Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Texas, and Colorado. He says he was ready to focus his energies on a specific community.

“After serving in a regional, corporate role for the past nine years, I was becoming increasingly aware that I missed community life. In my corporate role, my time in a community was limited, and my interaction was often focused primarily on community leadership,” Kimbell says. 

“Being in a community full time provides me with the opportunity to build stronger relationships with residents and team members across roles and responsibilities,” he adds.

Full plate

As director of dining services at Riderwood, Kimbell now oversees 6 restaurants in the community’s independent living neighborhoods and 12 dining rooms in the continuing care neighborhoods. He also oversees catering operations, on-site convenience stores, and the carryout and delivery meals program. 

Kimbell heads up a team of 500 employees who serve 3,500 meals a day to Riderwood residents, employees, and guests. The community’s dining options range from fast and casual to formal.

“Dining at Riderwood is a very complex operation requiring a significant number of people and roles,” Kimbell says. 

Be our guest

Prior to working for Erickson Living, Kimbell worked for Walt Disney Company as the general manager of Club 33, a private restaurant originally designed to be Walt Disney’s private dining room. 

He holds a food and beverage certificate of specialization, a bachelor of arts in business administration from Notre Dame of Maryland University, and a master of business administration from Amberton University in Garland, Tex. Kimbell’s experience makes him uniquely suited to lead Riderwood’s dining department.

“As a regional director, I have had the opportunity to work closely with the dining directors at all of our communities, so I have gained good insight into the best practices that have proven successful for others,” Kimbell says. “I think my experience at the Walt Disney Company helped me to develop a more hospitality-focused approach and a core fundamental belief in the importance of the overall guest experience.”

Kimbell says his predecessor did a good job of setting the community up for success in the dining services department. 

For his part, Kimbell plans to build on that framework and continue to deliver exceptional dining experiences to Riderwood residents. Specifically, he has set goals to recommit to customer service and hospitality and to focus on improving the food experience by evaluating the department’s processes and team. 

“We want to build our program through a strong voice of the customer approach by being very intentional in engaging our residents in the menu development process. We also want to be very proactive in preparing ourselves for the new Signature Dining Program,” Kimbell says. 

He continues: “We are looking at our menus to determine what we can start cooking to order today and how we can develop our culinary team so that they are better prepared to deliver a more restaurant-style experience in the future.”

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