What is a KDS?

With an advanced point of sale system, using technology to support a fast and efficient kitchen operation is an important part of a complete solution. In the past, the technology most commonly employed has been a kitchen printer – a dedicated device passing orders from the floor directly to the kitchen. More and more we are seeing kitchens embrace KDS technology – for a variety of reasons.

Kitchen Display Screens (KDS) or Kitchen Video Screens (KVS) are simple monitors or touch screens that replace the traditional kitchen printer. They are a digital order viewer displaying orders from the floor instantly on the screen.

How do they work?

A SwiftPOS KDS can be configured in different modes to suit the service environment: 

  • QSR/Fast-Food style sends a full transaction’s itemised orders to a screen cell
  • Bistro Mode will hold and consolidate multiple transactions onto a single screen cell, where there are sales to one table
  • Table Service Restaurant style will send orders for a table to one cell and keep adding to the cell as the meal progresses
  • Fine Dining style can hold orders until a course is ‘called away’ by the floor staff, which will alert the kitchen to prepare the next course

There are also multi-screen modes where stations can ‘Bump’ their order from their station, while the chef master screen or pass screen shows the full list of items coming from all stations.

The SwiftPOS KDS comes with light and dark modes, bump and serve options for “Order Ready” screens, automatic paging from bump, customisable colours, item bump, course bump and table bump. In addition, the analytics reporting shows kitchen KPIs like including “Time to make” stats.

Benefits of a KDS

Kitchen printers are a simple and reliable technology, but a KDS has distinct advantages including:

  • No more tickets needing to be picked from the printer and moved to the docket queue, removing the risk that they can be mislocated or lost, especially if there is no space left with screens, eliminate this problem with unlimited space
  • Screens minimise movement around the kitchen as the staff can see their orders from their station
  • Staff can reduce store-room trips as they can see a summary of all live orders
  • No need to call orders means a quieter kitchen and less chance of orders being misheard
  • Order changes from the floor are immediately evident and highlighted, minimising waste and errors and staff have confidence that order changes will hit the kitchen immediately without them having to leave the restaurant floor

A well-configured KDS will improve prep time and accuracy, reduce waste, improve kitchen operations overall, and give your customers a better experience at your venue.

By Rohan Genn