True or false: A kitchen display system is only for large restaurant operations. If you said “false,” you’re correct. Every restaurant can benefit from implementing a kitchen display system that replaces paper tickets and kitchen printers. Here are some of the benefits of putting such technology in place:
1. Increased order accuracy, with fewer headaches. Restaurant kitchens are busy places. With staff hurrying about to get their jobs done, it doesn’t take much for paper tickets to be lost or misplaced. Even when they are properly handled, paper tickets can be difficult to distinguish from each other as well as damaged or rendered illegible by spills, splatters, and heat. The end-result: guesswork about what a given customer has ordered, and, in turn, the risk of order inaccuracies.
A kitchen display system eliminates such problems by showcasing everything food preparation staff needs to know about each customer’s order (including the ingredients needed to fill it) on a brightly-lit, easy-to-read screen, and by serving as a central repository for all orders. What’s more, with a kitchen display system in place, information about additions and changes to orders reaches the kitchen as soon as customers make their requests known. This not only enables accurate orders to be delivered the first time around; it prevents frustration among kitchen staff, waitstaff, and customers, while minimizing waste in the bargain.
2. Enhanced kitchen efficiencies. Instead of being forced to wait for servers to bring complete order tickets to the kitchen, kitchen staff can consult the kitchen display system and begin preparing orders immediately. Different order components can be automatically routed to separate stations (i.e., cold items to one station and hot items to another), allowing preparation to occur simultaneously. A kitchen display system also bolsters efficiencies by eliminating the need for kitchen staff to waste time deciphering paper tickets, and by alerting staff if an order is not being prepared within a prescribed time frame. Orders may be moved, prioritized, or transferred to another station in order to minimize delays. In fact, the increased efficiencies afforded by a kitchen display system are so significant that it is possible to produce more orders without increasing kitchen staff and incurring additional labor expenditures.
3. Improved inventory management. A kitchen display system allows automatic monitoring of inventory levels and order volume, alerting management when quantities become low and ensuring that ingredients and supplies are replenished appropriately. In addition to preventing ingredient shortages that force staff to improvise or lead to order preparation snafus, better inventory management enabled by a kitchen display system ensures that the ingredients customers desire are always in stock.
4. A higher caliber of customer service, leading to increased sales. By supporting enhanced order accuracy and faster delivery of food and beverages to customers’ tables, a kitchen display system has a positive impact on customer service. With such a system in their technology toolbox, restaurateurs can be assured that orders are accurately and speedily prepared, and that multiple items in the same category (e.g., appetizers, entrees, and desserts) are delivered simultaneously rather than in the piecemeal fashion that annoys many customers. The higher the caliber of service, the higher the sales and profits—and the more loyal customers become.
In short, the wealth of benefits provided by a kitchen display system makes an investment in the technology a worthwhile one. Operating a restaurant without one is a short-sighted approach at best.