Technology in the restaurant industry is constantly evolving, and sometimes it can be challenging to determine if the latest trend is right for your food truck, coffee shop, or restaurant. So, who needs a Kitchen Display System (KDS)?
What is a KDS?
At its core, a KDS is a set of one or more digital screens that display orders at a prep station. It can replace a paper printer, handwritten tickets, or verbally calling orders back to the kitchen. Modern kitchen display systems go beyond being just a digital printer with features that help prioritize, organize, change, and track orders. Restaurant operators use a KDS to improve their speed of service, reduce costly errors in food production, and save money by eliminating waste.
Who Needs a KDS?
The short answer is: restaurant of all sizes and service types can benefit from a kitchen display system.
Using a KDS can improve efficiency for most restaurants, so every restaurant owner should at least consider it. With the rise of lightweight, affordable systems even smaller food service operations like food truck, coffee shops, and juice bars can benefit from using these systems to streamline their kitchens.
What Does a KDS Do?
Kitchen display systems offer several different convenient features.
- Orders are routed to the appropriate food preparation stations, including splitting items to different stations.
- Sound alerts notify the kitchen when new orders arrive so nothing is missed.
- Color-coded headers inform kitchen staff when orders are have been open too long and need to be prioritized.
- KDS can be customized so that it follows your kitchen’s unique flow.
- The system is highly interactive, so the kitchen staff can adjust orders or mark them when they are ready.
- Front-of-house staff can see the status of dishes and grab finished orders. Staff can also update patrons on wait times using the system.
- KDS can SMS customers their food preparation status and expected completion time.
Reasons to Use Fresh KDS
No matter the size of your restaurant, there are many reasons to implement Fresh KDS.
- Eliminate Errors: Paper order tickets are extremely easy to misplace, and losing them can result in rushed and incorrect orders. Fresh KDS solves this by eliminating printed order tickets and replacing it with an easy-to-read digital display. The result is fewer mistakes and more satisfied customers.
- Real Time Tracking: Fresh KDS displays a timer on each order and the header color changes from green to yellow to red as tick times approach and exceed speed of service standards. This allows managers and staff to see how well they're performing in real time and take action before the kitchen falls behind.
- Improve Speed of Service: Orders are separated and sent to their proper stations. This routing helps increase efficiency in the kitchen. Work is assigned to stations, and tickets can be completed much faster when everything is organized.
- Better Communication: Written requests can easily get overlooked or misinterpreted, and restaurants can end up with disappointed customers. Fresh KDS eliminates miscommunication. Servers update the POS, and the information is communicated to the Fresh KDS in real-time.
- Better Food Quality: Fresh KDS ensures that all orders for a table are arranged so that the meals come out at the same time so patrons can enjoy their meals together.
- Better Organized, Quicker Service: Orders are sent to the kitchen immediately, so employees handling other customers don’t have to be rushed to give the order to the kitchen and can handle other tasks.
- Save Money: Since orders are made correctly the first time, food waste, canceled orders, and refunds are reduced. By eliminating the need for kitchen printers, your business will use less paper. Consider the number of orders your restaurant prints in a day, and compare that to the savings and positive environmental impact your business can make by switching to digital.
- Accurate Takeout Orders: Food delivery apps are now increasingly popular among consumers and as restaurants increase takeout offerings to expand their reach, these additional orders create new logistical challenges that impact kitchen efficiency. Fresh KDS is built to service the omni-channel kitchen experience and sends online orders directly to the kitchen. Takeout orders can also be marked on the screens to ensure that they are packed appropriately.
No matter the size, every restaurant can benefit from having Fresh KDS.