Do you still use Kitchen order tickets in your restaurant? Is it slowing down operations?
KOTs are the age-old methods of printing orders and forwarding them to the kitchen. While these solutions have proven to be useful for years now, there is a new technology in the industry that connects your kitchen directly to the front of the house.
The one-stop solution for the busiest restaurant kitchens in the industry is Kitchen Display Systems (KDS).
What is a KDS?
A system that digitizes your order-taking process and reduces the manual work of the KOT process.
This article will serve as a guide to Kitchen Display Systems and their benefits, helping you to select the best one for your restaurant kitchen.
5 features of a Kitchen Display System
Before you invest in a Kitchen Display System, you need to understand the different software, and which one suits your needs the best. The following features are must-haves for a KDS.
Course managers are a feature of KDS that helps you course items together into buckets like desserts, drinks, and so on. For instance, if three tables order desserts then instead individually of informing the kitchen or delivering KOTs, your KDS will course the three orders together and help you deliver orders in a timely fashion.
Tip: You can further streamline this segregation process by creating rules depending on order timings and the buckets they belong to.
Meal pacing and Cook times
A dish has many ingredients, some take a shorter time to be prepared, while others take longer. How do you plan your preparation, so all the ingredients of a meal are ready and served hot? Enter KDS, an intelligent software assisting you in deciding cook time and optimizing your meal preparation. You feed your KDS data, and it will tell you what to prioritize first and how to plan the meal.
Your cook might know how to prepare multiple cuisines but doesn’t hurt to have a recipe or manual handy. Your guidelines and recipes with videos and images can be uploaded on KDS. Your staff can save the recipe and look it up easily when needed.
Routing to kitchen sections
Your KDS helps you direct different items into different sections of the kitchens. Sections can include grill, fryer, party, and bar. Directing the food to the right section is fairly important.
Integrate with POS
If you are reading this, chances are your kitchen already has a POS to scale your restaurant operations. If you do, then make sure your Kitchen Display System integrates with your POS.
If you are planning to upgrade your POS, then ensure that your KDS can support the integration.
What are the Benefits of a Kitchen Display System?
Contrary to what the name suggests, the role of a Kitchen Display System is not just restricted to providing your backend with a view of the orders. There are several business benefits that it offers. Here are a few:
The convenient option for your staff
All updates are displayed on a screen giving all staff members access to information at the same time. Traditionally, one person calls out the order for everyone, and the meal is prepared. In a Kitchen Display System, live updates of order preparation to completion are provided to everyone. This helps your staff provide quick and efficient service.
Displays information and increases efficiency
If your restaurant has a busy kitchen, especially during peak hours, a Kitchen Display System acts as a manager and streamlines the tasks. It organizes all new orders, and pending orders, and helps your staff prioritize orders that need immediate attention. This is a good tool to help your kitchen plan its activities better and provide good service.
Quick order processing, low customer wait time, and great customer experience
Kitchen Display Systems optimize orders and reduce customer wait time. How?
Let’s take an example. Your kitchen does not have a KDS, and you have 5 orders coming in and have 3 orders already pending. Your staff needs a manager to help them prioritize orders and prepare meals quickly, so the customer doesn’t have to wait for too long. There is a high dependence on the manager here.
Let’s take another scenario where you do have a Kitchen Display System. You get 5 new orders and have 3 pending orders. Your KDS will organize the orders and tell the staff what they should prioritize first. What’s more, is that it will also inform the chef if there are similar orders. Per se 3 people have
ordered Chicken Wings. Your chef can prepare these meals simultaneously and cut preparation time by half.
This is the difference between having a KDS and not having one. This quick service helps you optimize operations, reduce customer waiting time, flip tables faster, and provide a better customer experience.
Helps you with Inventory Management
POS Kitchen Display Systems track orders and your inventory. At any time if you fall short on any items, it instantly alerts you. This helps you plan and stock your shelves better.
Tip: Keep a minimum number for your items and certain rules in place. This way you will know when to restock. Also, remember to sync your POS and Kitchen Display System for inventory management.
The source of data and intelligence
When you sync your POS and Kitchen Display System you have access to data and intelligence about your restaurant performance. You can take a look at the number of orders, your top-performing dishes, and your daily performance along with current orders. You can also check how long it takes to prepare a meal. With this information, you can optimize tasks, streamline your operations and see where there is room for improvement. You can also use the date to understand what dishes get ordered the least. The metrics available also allow you to check resource stress and help you create a plan to sustain your restaurant’s growth.
Staff training is now simple and easy
KDS offers quick in-house training and reduces staff training costs. You can prepare you’re A-team in no time now! Apart from this, the display system also provided new recipes, cooking techniques and the latest trends that can help you upskill your employees easily.
No extra costs for printing order tickets
This is a no-brainer. With display systems, you don’t have to opt for the traditional KOTs. This saves paper and printing costs. So, you can choose the sustainable and more efficient option for your restaurant.
A Kitchen Display System is a good manager for your kitchen, so choose wisely. While purchasing a KDS, ensure you have all the features you need, and that you use it to its full potential. If you have any more queries about KDS, leave a comment and we will get back to you.
About Author: Sabah Batul is a young professional with a background in Journalism and Literature. She is currently working in the Marketing and Communications domain.