What is a KDS? An Overview of Kitchen Display Systems
Restaurants are constantly updating technology to keep up with consumer demand. Think about it: wi-fi, table kiosks, online ordering—all of these features help attract more diners and drive the guest experience. A kitchen display system (KDS) might be in the background, but it’s a piece of technology that does more than placate guests; it will change the way your restaurant performs.
What is a KDS?
A kitchen display system is a digital order viewer that replaces your paper tickets and kitchen printers. But that might be put too simply, because it also does so much more! Kitchen video controls the way food is routed, the way recipes are prepared, and monitors all of the data in the kitchen.
Benefits of a KDS
A good kitchen display system improves efficiencies in the kitchen by managing:
- Cook times
- Basic routing to specific stations
A great KDS does all of the above and:
- Adds even more customizations to support complex menus
- Uses routing modifiers or child items to separate views
- Manages priorities uniquely by station
- Load balances large kitchens
- Supports Bin levels of configured items
- Decreases waste
- Improves product efficiencies
- Provides up-to-the second communication with servers on item statuses
Features of a KDS
Above, we’ve listed the benefits of a kitchen display system. Getting into the details, let’s look at how a KDS does it by starting with view types. A kitchen display system has several views to fit the needs of the restaurants that use it. You can use order views, item views, prep views, and order ready views for different situations.
Order views allow you to see the upcoming orders in a fixed or flex grid. Quick service and fast casual restaurants may use grid views, while table service restaurants may use order views at the end of the prep line or in the server area where orders come together for delivery to the guest.
Item views allow you to view the individual items in a line item or flex item option. This view might be used in a table service restaurant where items are coming in rapidly and efficiently routing items to specific preparation stations is key.
AccuPrep is a view that is used in a sit-down establishment to support table service plating times.
Order Ready views are customer-facing and shows diners where their orders are in the kitchen, whether they’re complete or in progress.
What this means for your restaurant
As you can see, a kitchen display systems do more than just reduce the need for paper in a restaurant (although that’s a great benefit as well!). Every restaurant is unique, which is why a KDS is created to adapt to different restaurant needs. A KDS is often thought of as a solution for a larger restaurant, but it can be implemented in any size of establishment with measurable benefits. Whether you’re looking to decrease ticket times, increase customer satisfaction, or promote efficiencies in the kitchen, a KDS may be the right solution for you.
If you’re interested in learning more, take a look at QSR’s kitchen display system.
About the Author
Shari McCauley is the Product Training Specialist at QSR Automations, where she focuses on educating employees and customers on the benefits and uses of QSR technology. You can reach Shari at firstname.lastname@example.org.