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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
There are several things to consider when searching for the best kitchen display system for Clover point of sale.
There are a number of options when it comes to choosing a KDS to work with your Clover POS.
Fresh KDS 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 connects to 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.