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02/15/2021

5 Features of a Customer-Centric KDS

When it comes to your guest experience, that’s what can help your restaurant stand out from all of the noise, especially in these troubling times. When it comes to your restaurant technology, it can help improve your guests’ experience. More specifically, let’s talk about your kitchen display system and how it can enhance your guest experience. These five features of the right kitchen display system will go a long way to meet your guests’ needs.

  1. API - Providing Flexibility Through Integrations

Your ideal kitchen display system should have a flexible API that can integrate with POS systems and third-party partners. When your customers place an order, each piece of your restaurant’s technology should be able to communicate with each other. Connecting your systems will help you save time and get your customers’ food hot and fresh. Through these APIs, your kitchen display system will be able to integrate with your front-of-house and communicate information from the restaurant’s kitchen to the hostess and front-of-house staff. Through this communication, you can provide your guests with accurate wait times, arrival times for order pickup, and times that their food will reach the table. These APIs will prove especially helpful when managing off-premise orders and balancing them with the orders that are already in the kitchen.

  1. Real-time data and updates

Your technology should communicate! Your KDS should always be talking to your POS. When it comes to data, use real information to talk to everyone in the restaurant. Based on your inventory data, you know which foods to throttle during daily business rushes. With the data that you collect from your technology, make actionable decisions, including order trackers. Follow Domino's example with their delivery tracking that gives customers real-time updates on their delivery status. Imagine using the data from your kitchen display system to quote wait times for dine-in and off-premise orders accurately. Evaluate your technology stack data and make changes to your restaurant operations with the data you receive from your efficient technology.

  1. Order Throttling/Dynamic Capacity Management

As your restaurant experiences daily, holiday, seasonal rushes, capacity management, and order throttling capabilities are a KDS feature that every restaurant needs! Capacity management allows your kitchen’s off-premise orders and dine-in orders to come together to provide the most accurate quotes to pick up their orders. Depending on your kitchen’s workload, a customer-centric KDS will allow you to throttle orders as they enter your restaurant’s queue. For example, if your restaurant is in the middle of a lunch rush and customers are ordering off-premise, your KDS can accurately quote times farther out for them to pick up their order fresh.

  1. Integrations - Front-of-House and Back-of-House Connectivity

When it comes to choosing your restaurant’s KDS, one that allows your POS and your kitchen technology to talk to each other. During this communication, insights are shared including customer order data, order preparation data, and inventory. One of your customers orders a meal through Grubhub, and they’re quoted a time to arrive at the restaurant. Once they arrive, the host greets them and they check on their order. The host can quote them an accurate wait time by checking the POS. They never have to leave the host stand because the kitchen display system provides real-time data to the front-of-house. Your KDS should be able to integrate with a variety of POS systems. Both parts of your restaurant need to constantly communicate and share data to continue the smooth management of orders in your restaurant. Keep all of your employees informed with the data provided by your kitchen technology.

  1. Consistency- Efficient operations

Your technology should make your operations more efficient. When it comes to your kitchen display system, one that allows each of your employees in the kitchen to see recipes of menu items allows for easier training. If you hire a new line cook, using a kitchen display system with a component for showing the recipes of menu items enables new employees to learn menu items quicker and maintain dish consistency. On the other hand, if you’re introducing a new menu item, incorporating that recipe into rotation won’t take long either because the cooks will be able to see the recipe as it’s supposed to be made. Therefore, customers will be happy with their correct orders every time.

Lee Leet, founder and CEO of QSR Automations

All of these features allow operators to create a better guest experience, whether they’re ordering in your restaurant, getting items delivered, or carrying out via an app. Your kitchen display system features are important to create an efficient and satisfactory experience for your guests whether they are off-premise or dine-in. Your technology is an integral part of your business model as we step into the new year!

About the Author:

Lee Leet is founder and CEO of QSR Automations Inc.