Helping F&B with kitchen display hardware
The food service industry is highly competitive – low margins, the challenge of maintaining consistent quality, need for speed and more all pose difficulties to businesses.
No matter what your restaurant concept, equipping your back of house with a complete technological process will help to increase efficiency and quality of kitchen operations.
A key technology that will help is kitchen display system (KDS) hardware.
What is kitchen display hardware?
In a traditional restaurant setting, cashiers would take orders at the front of house, print out a receipt, and pass the receipt to the back kitchen. The chefs would then refer to each order manually, or designate a person to shout out all the orders.
It sounds like a simple process, but it can be easily messed up by high order volumes or individual mistakes. For instance, chefs may miss out on orders or prepare two of the same order if they are unsure of which order has been taken by another chef. It is also possible to misplace order receipts in the chaotic kitchen environment.
In contrast, a KDS is a piece of digital signage which presents information to the back kitchen on a screen. It can be connected to the restaurant’s POS system to process and display orders automatically. This enables chefs to discern the status of each order at a glance.
What are the benefits of using kitchen display hardware?
Go green and save costs. Receipt printing is typically a small expense for businesses. However, restaurants run on lean margins, and any unnecessary money spent is wasteful. This will also have a positive impact on the environment by reducing the demand for thermal receipt paper which cannot be recycled.
Seamlessly integrate with POS systems. Most restaurants will use a POS system for front of house transactions and order input. By connecting POS systems with KDS, real-time order information will be sent to the back kitchen for processing. This reduces wait time for customers and simplifies workflows for staff.
Optimise kitchen workflows. Depending on the software that the KDS runs on, it may be able to display ingredient and recipe information, arrange orders by level of priority, and more. For instance, some software will colour code orders by wait time and alert staff of orders which are taking too long. This makes the KDS a great helper to all the chefs and waiters in the back kitchen.
Insights into business data. The KDS is able to collect data about kitchen operations, such as how long it takes to prepare a menu item and average wait time for orders. This information can give tremendous insight into how your restaurant operates, to make improvements.
What makes a good KDS hardware?
Appropriate display size. When choosing KDS hardware, the first thing to consider is display size. This will depend greatly on the size of your kitchen – the bigger the kitchen, the larger the screen size required so that all chefs can see the screen clearly. Simultaneously, make sure that the kitchen has an empty wall or stand big enough to mount the KDS.
Processor and Wifi connectivity. The communication between your POS system and KDS should be instantaneous. This is only possible if the processor of the KDS is fast, and it has good Wifi connectivity. If possible, do a test run of your POS and KDS systems to determine if the speed is satisfactory.
Oil and grease proof. As much as chefs will try to keep the kitchen environment clean, it is inevitable for stains, spills, and accidents to occur. The last thing you’d want is for your KDS to be rendered unusable by a small splash. Thus, be sure to choose a hardy KDS system that is also oil and grease proof. In addition, take precautions like mounting the KDS in a safe location away from heat and liquids.
Speaker (optional but helpful). Some KDS have built-in speakers, which will provide verbal instructions for incoming orders. This may be useful for chefs who prefer to hear, rather than read, the incoming orders.
The kitchen is where all the magic of a restaurant happens. Equipping your chefs with technological aids like KDS will go a long way in improving efficiency and quality.
Find out more about how POS hardware can help your business here.