You need a kitchen to benefit from a KDS right? I mean, the word “kitchen” is right there in the name (kitchen display system). There’s a reason they don’t call it a BDS (barista display system) or a FTDS (food truck display system). Traditionally, this is probably true. Clunky, legacy kitchen display systems required significant hardware investment, running network drops, and spending hours configuring the setup. Modern, cloud-based technology, however, means that all types of food service establishments can benefit from a KDS, whether they technically have a kitchen or not. Read on for some examples of how a KDS can be used.
The heavy-weight hardware required for traditional kitchen display systems isn’t economically viable for most shops selling drinks like coffee, tea, juice, or smoothies. A cloud-based system that runs on tablets, like Fresh KDS, is a great fit for these types of businesses. An iPad or 10-inch tablet is the perfect size for a drink prep station, and the more affordable hardware can hold up well since it isn’t exposed to grease, heat, and smoke found in many kitchens.
Working off a digital screen instead of handwritten cups means employees are less likely to make a mistake (reading other people’s handwriting can be hard!), and Fresh KDS includes valuable features like printing to label printers if you want to give your guests a top-of-the-line experience.
The ability to run a KDS on a tablet is also key for food trucks where space is limited. While traditional systems have to be wired to function, cloud-based systems like Fresh KDS operate wirelessly which means you can position the KDS screen anywhere in your food truck and easily remove it at the end of service.
A challenge that many food trucks face is handing orders off to the customer when they are ready. If the order prep takes a few minutes it can result in customers hanging around the window and creating a traffic jam. Calling out customer names can also be an inefficient way of notifying customers when their food is ready. Fresh KDS solves these problems with an SMS feature that will send customers a text message when their order is ready.
A KDS won’t be a good fit for all snacks & sweets operations. For example, if you scoop the ice cream as the customer stands in front of you a KDS isn’t necessary. However, if your order taking is separated from your order preparation a tablet-based KDS could help improve order accuracy and speed of service. It might also help improve food cost and waste because the cashier won’t accidentally miss ringing up “extras”.
The color-coded headers on KDS tickets can help motivate staff to hit your goal speed of service in a way that’s not possible with verbally called orders. With Fresh KDS the amount of time until an order’s header changes to yellow and then red can be easily configured for each order type (for here, to go, etc.) in the settings.
Whether your concession stand is open year around or only seasonally, a tablet-based KDS can help improve efficiency in delivering food to customers. While most concession stands don’t technically have a kitchen, a tablet displaying orders can be a useful way to stay organized. For orders with multiple items the ability to individually strike through items as they’re ready means multiple employees can work on the same order without stepping on anyone’s toes. With flexible month-to-month pricing, Fresh KDS is also a great solution for seasonal businesses who don’t need to use the software all the time.
These are just a few of the non-traditional use cases for a cloud-based kitchen display system like Fresh KDS. Despite the name, Fresh KDS doesn’t require a kitchen to be beneficial. Fresh KDS can help manage orders, improve production accuracy, increase efficiency, and communicate better with guests for all types of food service businesses.