August 02, 2022
Restaurants can be tricky businesses to operate efficiently from a variety of angles – while can’t exactly control the challenge for staff that comes about when your establishment fills up, you can provide tools that make rushes less stressful and allows the restaurant to run more efficiently.
Here, we’re going to look at how this is accomplished on the digital end and how a KDS fits into the whole equation.
The most valuable part of a KDS is the POS
When we look at SimpleKDS, it’s designed to work in conjunction with a Clover POS system and merchant account.
Though all KDS systems are different, their real power comes from the backend that handles the business’s transactions. This means that the KDS is just an extension of the POS which means a few things a good KDS won’t necessarily resolve problems with a bad product or poor setup.
With Clover, there are a number of ways that it can be used – it’s a versatile platform (after all, it is Android-based) that can provide an easily configurable POS for all kinds of industries. It also supports a slew of integrations thanks to a robust API that enables the system to securely exchange information with different systems in real-time.
The way SimpleKDS is designed, it uses information that’s been transmitted from the POS to the Clover Merchant to display orders as soon as they’ve been processed.
This provides the system with accurate information, only displaying confirmed orders.
However, this does mean that businesses will likely need to figure out how to also handle certain tasks like, for example, remaking an item in a way that works with your setup. Some businesses handle such things manually (e.g., directly ask the cook to remake something without running an order through the POS) while some will choose to create digital remake options so these kinds of instances are still digitally logged.
It’s up to you how to do it (though the latter can help prevent inventory issues from arising) but it’s important to understand that you will also need to make adjustments to how certain situations like this can be handled most efficiently.
How the KDS improves efficiency in a restaurant
Let’s take a quick look at some ways that a KDS like SimpleKDS can improve efficiency in a restaurant.
1. It can’t fall in your chili
For whatever reason, stockpots and other large vessels seem to be places where unwanted objects end up like the occasional stray hair and loose jewelry.
For meat, they cleverly use burgers that sit on the grill a little too long. | Source: Medium
Even though the finger didn’t just “fall in” from some extreme act of carelessness, things have a way of ending up where they’re not supposed to.
Some kitchens manage to function well with paper receipts however, they are known to go rogue and end up in vats of soup or underneath entrees for a nice little “surprise” once the customer gets a couple of bites into their meal.
The nice part about the KDS is that it removes issues that can stem from paper tickets getting lost and ending up in places they shouldn’t. And no more creasing all your receipts near the printer roll so staff can read them!
2. A KDS is precise
While there is always a human element that can (and probably will) go awry, like a server forgetting to input an item into the POS.
Even though these things can happen, there’s no risk of the order “losing” items after being entered into the POS: whatever is input for the order will always display on the KDS.
Much like the paper receipt problem, this accuracy means less chance of having to remake something because it wasn’t written down or wasn’t legible. Of course, it won’t eliminate all problems so make sure you have appropriate contingency plans for when customer service issues arise.
3. It’s inexpensive & easy
Dealing with printers is awful – fortunately, restaurant printers are straightforward but there’s still the process of connecting them and dealing with maintenance issues like when they jam because someone changed rolls with greasy hands.
Not pictured are all those awful wires that sometimes just stop working. | Source: PCLiquidations
With SimpleKDS, the Android device running the app simply needs an Internet connection and power.
Fortunately, it’s usually easy to connect a tablet power supply to an outlet, especially when compared to kitchen printers that usually have a transformer (i.e., the “brick” part) on the cord and often need a physical connection to a network switch.
Once the app is installed, it simply needs to be connected to a Clover Merchant account and configured.
The SimpleKDS system will automatically populate orders on the screen and enable staff to easily close them out once complete.
No more fumbling with paper receipts and no more paper cuts!