Restaurants are continually updating their technology to keep up with customer demand, improve their services and increase speeds in which the service is delivered. During the global pandemic of Covid-19, restaurants have adapted even further to ensure less contact with customers and their food.

A Kitchen Display System (KDS) is like what you see in the big quick-service chains like McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King. KDS streamlines a kitchen’s basic operations like communication, restaurant food ordering system, inventory and promises faster delivery. You can also monitor the preparation time for each dish.

Traditionally you walk into the takeaway restaurant, the staff take your order on a piece of paper, then take your money through a till, next, they pass the piece of paper with your order on it to the kitchen staff or they shout the order through to the kitchen. Then, when the order is ready, they shout the customer over to come to collect their food. In a KDS ordering the system, the staff have the menu on a till, take your order which then sends the order automatically through to a screen in the kitchen, when the order is ready an electronic board flashes or shows order ready so the customer can come collect it. The restaurant may even use a self-service checkout.

What does a KDS do?

Example of Winpos Kitchen Display System

Kitchen Display Systems are automated to help with the following:

  • Routes orders to the proper food preparation stations
  • Organises items, so dishes that should go out at the same time are prepared in the right order
  • Alerts kitchen staff when orders have been in the queue too long
  • Can be customised, so it follows your kitchen’s flow
  • Is interactive, so the kitchen staff can bump dishes to different stations or mark when they are ready
  • Enables the front-of-house team to see the status of dishes on the mobile POS and pick up orders as soon as they are ready. They can also use this information to share updates with customers.
  • Basic Routing to Specific Stations. The KDS will route food to the appropriate kitchen station: grill, pantry, fryer, etc. Routing makes sure that food items are moved in the right direction.

Benefits of Kitchen Display Systems

  • KDS improves the customer experience by allowing customers to see the progress of their order. They can follow along with their order from the time it is placed until the time they receive it so that they are in the know every step of the way. This also speeds up delivery of the order because it is all automated with the click of a button. No need for shouting.
  • KDS improves the customer experience by making food delivery faster and more efficient.
  • KDS improves order accuracy. In a busy, bustling, loud restaurant, it’s easy for the cashier to misunderstand a customer’s order and it’s also easy for the kitchen staff to misunderstand what the cashier is yelling when they tell them the order, it becomes a game of telephone. When it’s automated through KDS, the accuracy of the order improves significantly.
  • Meal coursing. A KDS allows you to send a group of items (appetisers, drinks, desserts, etc.) all at once. You can set up rules as to when your KDS system will display items in a meal, based on when they’re supposed to get run to the table. This ensures each item is delivered when it should be, with every item freshly prepared.
  • Cook times. A KDS will make sure that food is fresh and the right temperature when it arrives to the customer. Cook times will be managed to make sure food items with shorter and longer cook times are balanced. This makes food safety an easy, streamlined process.
  • No more lost orders. It can happen quickly, a waiter takes an order, it’s come through on the kitchen printer and been added to the ticket rack, but amongst the hustle and bustle of a busy restaurant, the ticket falls off and gets lost, or maybe it accidentally gets taken off the rack too soon. This simple mistake can put your whole restaurant into a chaotic mess and cause customers to leave bad reviews about slow service. A KDS takes this problem out of the equation altogether.
  • More organised, faster service. There’s not much to explain here except organised, fast service= happy, satisfied customers that are likely to come back.

Overview of Complete Kitchen Display System with Order Ready Board

Using a KDS system in your business offers significant benefits to both your business and the customer.

The business benefits because there is no confusion on order, the order is sent through to the kitchen quicker, and there is less paper used.

The customer benefits because they get their order quicker and are can see the progress of their order.