You don’t have to be a quick-service restaurant or have a huge kitchen to benefit from restaurant kitchen order systems (KDS), also called kitchen display systems.
In fact, restaurants of all shapes and sizes can gain value from the operational advantages that touchscreen kitchen display systems offer.
We’ve compiled the six most substantial benefits of using kitchen order systems in your restaurant. Specifically, we’ve detailed the ways a KDS can save your restaurant time and money while promoting communication and efficiency in your front and back of house.
1. Accurately Track Fulfillment Times
KDS screens will track the time it takes your kitchen staff to fulfill each ticket.
If you have a POS system that offers kitchen reports (pictured below), you will be able to gain a tremendous amount of insight into which areas you should focus on to streamline processes and further improve kitchen operations.
Kitchen reports can show you a wide array of metrics, including average fulfillment time by day of the week and time of day. With this information, you can easily identify your most efficient kitchen staff members, those who may benefit from additional training, and rush hours that may require more hands on deck, thus allowing you to staff and train appropriately.
Morgan & York, an artisan wine and cheese shop and sandwich deli, realized the benefits of KDS after struggling with missing and unfulfilled tickets during busy shifts. Upon making the switch, the shop has seen significant improvements to service and fulfillment times, allowing more customers to be served and satisfied.
2. Simplify the Cooking Process
Most chefs would rather know they have to prepare 42 wings total than seven orders of six wings. Alleviating your chefs of this “mental math” gives them more time to prepare and cook food, while also avoiding costly errors. Some kitchen display systems have an "all day" display so rather than having to read between the lines, cooks know exactly how many patties need to be on the grill, how many orders of fries need to be in the fryers, and how many cheese pizzas should be in the oven.
If you’ve ever seen a Restaurant Wars episode of Top Chef, you know that paper tickets cause disorganization and are often the downfall of the entire operation. Paper tickets can lead to confusion for chefs, unlike with restaurant kitchen order systems where assignments and responsibilities are clearly laid out. With paper tickets, it's easy for two cooks to see an order of grilled chicken being prepped, and for each to think it's for the caesar salad they were working on. Your KDS can alleviate confusion and get guests the right order, faster.
3. Improve Your Kitchen Efficiency
Some kitchen display systems, like the one pictured below, allow tickets to be routed directly to specific kitchen screens and prep stations. This means appetizers and salads sent from the same ticket can automatically be sent to the respective line. You can even color-code tickets so they change colors when they are not fulfilled within a designated amount of time, keeping your turn time fast and your team accountable. One restaurant we spoke with claimed a kitchen display system doubled their sales, all thanks to kitchen efficiency.