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May 15, 2023

A Guide to Kitchen Display Systems for Clover


Service Type



POS Used

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What is a kitchen display system?

A kitchen display system (KDS) is a screen or set of screens that pair with your Clover POS to display orders in your kitchen or food prep stations. A KDS can replace paper ticket printers, handwritten orders, or verbally calling items that need to be prepared. Kitchen display systems can help your food truck, cafe, coffee shop, or restaurant stay organized, improve your speed of service, and generally create a better experience both for your staff and your customers.

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What are the main benefits of a KDS?

Kitchen display systems are more than just digital printers. By capturing and displaying order information digitally kitchen display systems can unlock a host of features that improve the efficiency of your kitchen operations. Some of the added benefits of a Clover-compatible KDS include:

Staying Organized

Paper tickets can get dropped on the ground, kicked under the cooler, or covered in grease. It’s easy for paper tickets to get mixed up on the rail so you’re not making the right order next. And when you need to recall an order? Hopefully the ticket is on the spindle and not in the trash. A KDS helps solve all these problems by keeping orders organized on an easy-to-navigate tablet display.

Improved Speed of Service

Slow speed of service is one of the top complaints from unhappy customers.  Staying organized helps your kitchen focus on preparing orders, and as a result you’ll be able to deliver orders faster. Color coded headers that change from green to yellow to red the longer tickets are open provide a visual indication of how well the kitchen is performing and if any orders are falling behind. This information can help you get ahead of any problems and stop them in their tracks.

Do More With Less

Service industry staffing is challenging these days. It can be hard to find and keep good employees. Kitchen display technology can help alleviate staffing shortages in a couple of ways:

  • Keeping the food prep stations organized results in increased productivity, meaning you can serve the same number of customers without needing to add more staff
  • It can help with training and retention. Employees enjoy using technology that makes their job easier. A simple, intuitive KDS that integrates with your Clover POS can both help new employees get up to speed quickly and create a lower-stress work environment that can reduce turnover.

What to look for when choosing a KDS

There are several things to consider when searching for the best kitchen display system for Clover point of sale.

  • Compatibility. You’ll want to make sure you choose a KDS that works with your existing tech stack, which means it will need to integrate with Clover. Look for a KDS that integrates easily to minimize your setup time and effort.
  • Hardware. Check to see what type of hardware each KDS provider supports. Some KDS solutions sell you both hardware and software while others use a “bring your own device” model. Bringing your own hardware gives you more flexibility and options, but make sure to check what operating systems are supported (iOS, Android, Windows).
  • Features. Does the kitchen display system offer the features that match your restaurant’s unique set up? Will you be able to cross off individual items, sync order bumps between stations, or send orders to the next station in the assembly line? Do you want the ability to communicate order status updates to your customers or the ability to print sticky labels for to-go cups or boxes?
  • Cost. There are two main costs to consider when evaluating kitchen display systems - the hardware cost and the software cost. Some KDS providers charge a one-time hardware plus software licensing fee, which typically does not include software updates. Other KDS companies only charge a monthly or annual fee for software while allowing you to bring your own hardware. This type of software typically will include ongoing updates for new features and functionality.
  • Support. How much support you’ll need to set up and maintain your new KDS depends on how easy the system is to use and how tech savvy you are. If the system you choose looks complicated to set up, or if you don’t have much IT experience you might want to opt for a product that provides a higher level of onboarding support.
  • Offline Mode. Many kitchen display systems require internet connectivity to receive orders. If your restaurant doesn’t have a reliable, strong internet connection you should consider a KDS that can operate “offline.” Kitchen display systems with offline mode receive orders across the local network and therefore can work even without a connection to the internet.

Kitchen Display Systems for Clover

There are a number of options when it comes to choosing a KDS to work with your Clover POS.

Fresh KDS

Fresh KDS for Clover is a great choice if you are looking for a robust kitchen display system that you can customize to match your kitchen’s workflow. Fresh KDS is an easy-to-use kitchen display system that work with Clover by emulating a printer, which means it can work without internet connectivity. The Fresh KDS app is available on both iOS and Android, providing you with a lot of flexibility in choosing your hardware. Fresh KDS also has some of the most advanced features on the market, including multiple options for communicating between stations, the ability to send order status updates directly to customers, and curbside “I’m Here” functionality. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles, Fresh KDS also offers a very affordable entry level plan.

  • Bring your own hardware
  • iOS and Android
Offline Mode
  • Yes

Clover Kitchen Display System

Clover's native kitchen display system was released earlier this year. Since this KDS is built by Clover it has a seamless integration to the point of sale and online ordering systems. However, being a new product, Clover kitchen display system doesn't yet have all the features offered by other KDS providers. You also have to buy hardware from Clover, which limits your options for screen sizes and can make for a hefty initial investment.

  • $799 + $25 per month per screen
  • Price includes hardware
  • 14 inch, temperature-resistant screen must be purchased from Clover
  • Android
Offline Mode
  • No

4 Leaf Labs

The 4 Leaf Labs KDS is a good option if you also use other 4 Leaf Labs products like online ordering and loyalty. While the KDS only works on Android, you can buy hardware directly from 4 Leaf Labs to simplify the process. The 4 Leaf Labs KDS has all the basic functionality you’ll want in a KDS, and can be set to display in English or Spanish. However, it’s missing some of the more advanced features, and at $49/month it’s not the cheapest option if you have a simple setup.

  • $49/month per location
  • Hardware sold by 4 Leaf Labs
  • Android Only
Offline Mode
  • No

Simple KDS for Clover

Simple KDS for Clover is a basic kitchen display system that is completely free, making it an attractive option for restaurants looking to save money. However, Simple KDS for Clover only works on Android, limiting your hardware options, and since it integrates through Clover’s API’s it requires an internet connection at all times. Simple KDS for Clover might be the best fit for your restaurant if you only want a digital way to display orders, but it doesn’t offer many features beyond that.

  • Free
  • Bring your own hardware
  • Android Only
Offline Mode
  • No


ChefTab is a long-time provider of kitchen display systems for a number of POS systems. ChefTab sells both hardware and software. While they don’t charge a monthly fee for the software, the upfront cost for station packages can be steep and there are fewer software updates available. One plus of ChefTab is that it works offline without requiring the internet. This might be the best option if you have the money and are looking for a turn-key solution.

  • $799+ per station (including hardware)
  • Includes a one-time software license
  • Hardware sold by ChefTab
Offline Mode
  • Yes
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