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May 21, 2024

How To Support Your Back of House With an Effective KDS

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Your staff is the heart and soul of your establishment. When they aren’t happy or feel too stressed during rush hour, the customer’s experience is likely to suffer. 

Supporting your back-of-house team means enabling the smooth operation of your kitchen while boosting morale and reducing turnover.

When you invest in your staff and provide them with the tools they need to succeed, you create a positive work environment where employees feel valued and motivated. This support can lead to increased job satisfaction, which translates into better service, higher-quality food, and happier customers.

Implementing proven systems, such as a kitchen display system (KDS), can make a substantial difference. A well-chosen KDS not only streamlines kitchen operations, but it also reduces stress and errors, making your staff's job easier and more efficient. By prioritizing the well-being of your back of house, you're able to enhance their work experience and ensure the overall success and stability of your restaurant.

What Is the Role of a KDS for the Back of House?

A KDS streamlines order management by replacing traditional paper tickets with digital displays, ensuring that orders are organized, clear, and easily accessible. For the back of the house, a KDS: 

  • Reduces the risk of lost or misinterpreted orders, allowing kitchen staff to work more efficiently and accurately.
  • Provides all the necessary information in real-time on easy-to-scan screens so cooks and chefs can prioritize tasks, track order progress, and ensure timely preparation of orders.
  • Makes it possible to pass orders onto the next station (or skip stations that don’t apply) within the kitchen when it is ready for a different prep point.
  • Enhances communication and coordination among the kitchen team with features like color-coding tickets by order types, timers, and alerts for specific items (like allergies).
  • Offers valuable data and analytics for insights into preparation times, order volumes, and peak hours.
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How Do You Manage Restaurant Staff Well?

High turnover rates can be a significant challenge in the restaurant industry, disrupting operations and increasing costs associated with recruiting and training new staff. By focusing on ways to support your team, you can foster loyalty and retain experienced employees, saving you time and money in the long run.

So, how can you better support your restaurant staff?

Effectively managing a restaurant kitchen staff requires a combination of clear communication, organization, and support:

  1. Foster an environment of open communication where staff feel comfortable sharing ideas and concerns.
  2. Utilize tools like a KDS to streamline order management and ensure everyone is on the same page. 
  3. Provide comprehensive training to ensure all team members understand their responsibilities and feel confident in their roles.
  4. Recognize and reward hard work to boost morale and encourage a positive work culture. 
  5. Regularly review performance metrics and gather feedback to identify areas for improvement and implement necessary changes. 
  6. Offer a structured yet flexible work environment that encourages consistency while respecting people’s personal lives. 

A solid manager will work to enhance teamwork, reduce stress, and maintain a high standard of service. The right touch can ultimately lead to a more productive and harmonious kitchen.

Choosing the Right KDS for Your Kitchen

Not every kitchen display system is going to offer the same level of support and flexibility for your kitchen. To choose the right KDS for your restaurant, you need a system that not only works with your menu, hardware, and POS, but also supports your kitchen staff.

Key KDS Restaurant Features That Support Kitchen Staff

  1. ​​Real-Time Order Management: Provide up-to-date information on incoming orders and order changes, ensuring kitchen staff can prioritize tasks and reduce wait times.
  2. Customizable Ticket Views: Allow staff to tailor the display to their specific needs, such as sorting by order type or prep time, to improve workflow efficiency.
  3. Color-Coded Tickets: Use color codes to indicate different order statuses (such as on-time or late) and item alerts (like allergies), to help staff quickly understand the screen at a glance.
  4. Integrated Timers and Alerts: Set built-in timers and alerts to keep staff aware of cooking times and deadlines, ensuring timely food preparation.
  5. Seamless POS Integration: Automatically receive orders from Square, Clover, or other POS systems for a unified and streamlined ordering setup to support kitchen operations.
  6. Detailed Reporting and Analytics: Get insights into preparation times, order volumes, and peak hours to optimize staffing and avoid bottlenecks in the kitchen.
  7. Touchscreen Navigation: Easy navigation of orders with a user-friendly touchscreen interface or bump bar setup helps reduce training time and enhances efficiency.
  8. Order Tracking and Updates: Keep staff informed about the status of each order, from preparation stations to server delivery or pickup, to keep everyone on the same page.
  9. Flexibility with Devices: Choose a solution compatible with both iPads and Android tablets to use your staff’s preferred interface (or to use your existing devices).
  10. Multi-Station Synchronization: Sync orders between kitchen stations to ensure all staff members are on the same page and reduce communication errors.
  11. Menu Item Customization: Allows for easy modification of menu items and special instructions, helping kitchen staff accommodate customer preferences efficiently.
  12. Support and Training: Get personalized help when you need it and training resources to enable your team to get the most out of the restaurant’s KDS.

Training Your Back of House on KDS Usage

Help your staff get comfortable with your kitchen display system so they can take full advantage of it. Here is a quick guide to training your back of house on your KDS.

Introduction and Overview

Begin by giving your staff an introduction to the Kitchen Display System (KDS), explaining its purpose and how it benefits kitchen operations. Provide a high-level overview of the system's key features and functionalities, emphasizing how it will streamline their workflow and reduce errors.

Hands-On Demonstration

Conduct a hands-on demonstration where you walk the staff through each feature of the KDS. Show them how to navigate the interface, process orders, prioritize tasks, and use color-coded tickets and timers. Allow staff to practice using the system with sample orders to become familiar with its operation.

Role-Specific Training

Tailor the training to the specific roles within your kitchen. For example, train cooks on how to handle incoming orders and prioritize dishes, while training expeditors on how to track order progress and coordinate between stations. Ensure each team member understands how the KDS integrates with their responsibilities.

Simulated Service Scenarios

Set up simulated service scenarios to mimic a real shift. This will help staff practice using the KDS under realistic conditions, managing multiple orders, and dealing with potential issues that may arise during busy periods. Provide immediate feedback and tips for improvement during these simulations.

Ongoing Support and Refresher Training

Offer continuous support and periodic refresher training sessions to reinforce learning and address any questions or challenges staff may encounter. Encourage staff to provide feedback on the system and their training experience, and make adjustments as needed to ensure everyone is confident and proficient in using the KDS.

Learn More About How Fresh KDS Works

Are you looking to get more out of your KDS? The right tool can provide your staff with the features they need to be more efficient and less stressed in the kitchen. We’ll help you manage orders during rush hour.

Discover how Fresh KDS can revolutionize your kitchen operations. See firsthand how its advanced features streamline order management and boost efficiency in real time with our demo video.

Is Fresh right for your business? Check out the flexible features Fresh KDS offers.

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