Each hospitality professional understands that the service quality, i.e. food quality, staff competence and service speed, impact customers' loyalty. The last factor is especially important in fast food restaurants.
Here, the service speed depends not only on the employees' fleet-footedness but also on how well production processes are organised, on the speed with which orders are sent to the kitchen and on the technologies that help automate these processes. Kitchen display is one of these technologies.
How do we imagine a digital queue when it comes to fast food restaurants? Traditionally, our mind pictures a display with order numbers, using which guests can track the preparation of their orders. As soon as your order number appears in the Ready column, you can take your tray with food and drinks by showing your receipt to the cashier.
Hospitality professionals, especially those working in the fast food segment, know that this display is only the tip of the iceberg. When every minute counts and any glitch or interruption can make the venue loose the fast service restaurant status in the eyes of the guests, more complex mechanisms come into play.
How does it work?
Thousands of customers visit fast food restaurants in food courts and on popular streets. Every 15-20 minutes guests leave their tables, and new guests arrive to take them. At the same time, the kitchen staff is busy in the kitchen preparing new burgers, rolls, and French fries and pouring drinks into small and large paper cups. To ensure the expected service speed and food quality, restaurants organise a food assembly line and implement an internal notification system.
How to set up the most efficient assembly line?
Imagine that every restaurant employee is responsible for a strictly specific job. As customers make orders, they appear on the touch-screen within the personal area of responsibility of the staff member. Depending on what the guest has ordered, the task is sent to a specific employee responsible for a specific job. Thanks to the fact that different order items can be prepared simultaneously by different staff members, the order is assembled very fast.
If all technological steps are automated, cashiers to not need to shout over the noise of the dining room to share the order information with other staff members. The hamburger prepared a while ago won't get lost on the assembly table, and the salad won't be forgotten in the fridge when it should have been placed on the customer's tray 10 minutes ago.
When all order items are ready, the assembly worker gets down to his/her part of the job. After this, the guest is notified via the display or cashier that the order is ready and can be picked up.
What about classic restaurants?
Customer service can be optimised even in restaurants with classic table service. Even though there's no food assembly line and guests understand that the order won't in all likelihood appear on the table within two minutes, a KDS (Kitchen Display System) can significantly increase the service speed and quality.
For a traditional restaurant, the automation model can be simplified. A standard monitor or TV can be used as the kitchen display, and no additional licences or software are required.
The main order queue management feature in this case is that orders taken by waiters on POS terminals are visually represented on the kitchen display. The order queue will be tailored for each workstation (or cook): the kitchen display of a cook will only show the orders that must be prepared by this employee.
To prevent delays in food preparation and to make sure that dishes are prepared in the right order, many restaurants use a colour code. In the automation system, you can set up deadline for each dish that will take into account the expected preparation time and the time when the order was taken. At the critical time point, the 'green' order will become 'yellow' and even 'red' if the allotted preparation time is exceeded.
This system allows you to organise neat and smooth kitchen processes and thus make another step to the ideal service. In addition, this will allow you to avoid the purchase and maintenance costs of kitchen printers. Order slips don't get lost, no need to buy paper, no need to pay for printer maintenance.
How to implement this system in your restaurant?
Whether you have a fast food and a classic restaurant, the Tillypad hospitality management system will help you regain order in the kitchen. It accounts for many little details, thanks to which you won't have to worry about kitchen quarrels and delays, and—most importantly—unsatisfied guests. After the implementation of the system, you will notice that the food preparation and service speed has significantly increased, while the customers' complaints about long waiting times are historically low.
To learn more about the KDS system and receive a consultation tailored to your needs, contact Tillypad dealers in your region.