Your restaurant uses a paper ticket printer in the kitchen. Or maybe your coffee shops hand writes orders on cups. You've been doing this for years, and it's working. So why would you need to shake up the status quo and add a kitchen display system (KDS) to your food prep stations? Modern kitchen display systems have some benefits that you can't get from paper tickets or handwritten orders. Read on to learn some of the advantages of kitchen display systems.
Trying to read someone else's handwriting can be difficult (okay, let's be honest sometimes reading your own handwriting is hard too). If your baristas are trying to decipher scribbling on a cup it increases the chances they'll make the order incorrectly. This results in an unhappy customer and a re-make that both costs you money and slows down service for everyone else. A digital display takes the guess work out of understanding exactly what need to be made.
Paper tickets can end up anywhere - on the floor, behind the cooler, or in the trash by mistake. Paper tickets can also be rendered illegible if they get wet or greasy. Or the printer runs out of paper mid-print and you lose a ticket while switching the rolls. All of the scenarios can lead to a guest not getting their order on time, which frustrates both the guest and the restaurant staff. A digital display removes the risk of losing paper tickets.
A KDS can help streamline communication between the kitchen and the FOH staff, between different stations in the kitchen, and between the restaurant and customers. Sophisticated kitchen display systems can accept order updates from the POS, so if a customer changes their mind about what side or salad dressing they want the server can make the change in the POS and immediately communicate the change to the kitchen. Order status updates from the kitchen can be communicated back to the FOH so servers don't have to spend time checking if their orders are ready, and direct customer messaging can give customers insight into their order status. The ability to sync item bumps and order bumps between screens allows different stations to keep track of what's going on elsewhere in the kitchen, and the ability to daisy-chain screens together allows you to build complex workflows that match how items are prepared.
Improved speed of service means you're getting your guests their food faster, which typically results in happier customers. Fast speed of service has the added benefit of increasing throughput, allowing your business to generate more revenue over time. A KDS can help you improve your speed of service in a number of ways. In addition to making it easier for employees to see and track what orders need to be prepared the color-coded headers that change from green to yellow to red as the ticket time increases provide real-time visibility into performance. This helps motivate employees to hit the speed of service targets. Features like placing future order "on hold" also help keep the display un-cluttered so it is easier to focus on what's next. All of these things can result in faster speed of service.
All the benefits listed above can result in greater guest satisfaction and more repeat business.
Kitchen display systems are powerful tools that can help restaurants run more efficiently and improve the guest experience. If you're looking to improve your restaurant's operational efficiency and, in so doing, improve guest satisfaction then you should consider replacing your printer or handwritten tickets with a KDS.