This post was last updated 142 days ago.

Every restaurant has a common business problem to solve. You need to find the best way to get orders from the customer to the kitchen. Over the years, restaurants tried verbal orders. (If you aren’t familiar, see the old SNL cheeseburger sketch.) Another popular method was using carbon copies – one for the kitchen and one for the guest. As tech advanced, many restaurants entered orders on their point of sale (POS) terminals and sent them to kitchen printers. Now, however, restaurants focused on operating efficiently and cost-effectively send orders to a kitchen display system (KDS).

The Kitchen Display System’s Role in Restaurant Profitability

A KDS integrated with a restaurant’s POS and online ordering systems communicates orders directly to food prep areas. There are no worries about scribbled or lost orders. They appear on digital dashboards for prep stations in order of priority. Then bump pads allow kitchen staff to confirm they’re preparing certain items and clear them when they’re complete. Using a KDS ensures guests receive their meals as fast as possible and restaurants can turn tables more quickly and increase revenue.  

Furthermore, accurate orders decrease food waste, which the FDA estimates is 30-40 percent of the food supply. For restaurants, whose biggest expense is often food costs, minimizing waste can greatly impact the bottom line. Reducing order mistakes also helps build a loyal customer base and return business.

Additionally, kitchen display systems collect data, such as order timestamps and prep times. Managers can use KDS reports to pinpoint bottlenecks and adapt processes to enhance kitchen operations. Additionally, this data, combined with information from the POS or management system, can provide restaurants with insights into the kitchen’s response to high-volume times. It may also help identify menu items that may be hard for the kitchen to prepare at peak and issues with in-house orders vs. online orders. The right KDS also makes training easier, so kitchen staff can begin working independently more quickly.

Another benefit of using a kitchen display system is that it replaces kitchen printers. This eliminates printer maintenance and paper, which in some cases could offset the cost of the KDS.

The Savings and Benefits Add Up

Taking into account faster table turns, reduced food waste, data that enables optimizing kitchen performance and eliminating printer and consumable costs, a kitchen display system can contribute to greater profitability and a better bottom line. Fine-tuning operations is particularly important as restaurants recover from pandemic-related losses and labor shortages. Contact Everything But The Food to see how to get operations back on track with a KDS.