Kitchen screens seem to be one of the most undervalued technologies within the hospitality sector that can speed up your kitchen, prevent errors and provide a clearer view of the current situation within your kitchen.
In addition kitchen screens can provide analytics and insights into your business. Kitchen screens are great for a business of any size and in fact tend to benefit smaller businesses who typically have less staff at their disposal.
Below we look at 5 reasons why kitchen screens can save everyone stress, lessen the workload and provide you with a clearer picture.
Information For Your Team
Well placed interactive kitchen screens can give your staff all the information they need without having to ask and disrupt your chefs.
Status of current dishes whether they have been started or finished, and how long ago the order came in, can help your teams support each other.
This also provides a standard method of displaying data, helping formulate processes based on visible triggers, reducing training and ensuring your team always have the latest information to hand,
Enhance Communication Between Front of House and Your Kitchen
Tension between chefs and the front of house is an ongoing battle and speaking (or shouting) can be disruptive to customers, staff morale and to the flow of your kitchen.
Now all your chefs can see exactly what orders are coming in, directly from front of house or online. Front of house can immediately return items to the kitchen without speaking to the chef, with the chef being notified of required amendments.
All staff are also able to see the progress of orders at a glance rather than asking whoever is in control of what is happening with a certain order which in itself can be a huge bottleneck. They can track for themselves the status of an order, providing your staff with the information to take action.
Reduce Errors, Wastage and Frustration
Screens are clearer, larger, easier to read and can be manipulated to view what is most important. This makes it easier for your chefs to see where they are at, there are no tickets to lose, no handwriting to try and read, plus when there are tens of orders coming in, easy to read information is vital.
This helps prevent orders and items getting mixed up or preventing the wrong order going to the wrong customer. This in itself saves you time, money, prevents bad reviews and helps limit staff churn.
Approval / Dispatch Screens and Processes
Having a smooth approval/dispatch process is key to reducing errors before they even reach the customer. Kitchens are busy and mistakes happen. However customers do not care about what is happening in your kitchen they just want their delicious meal.
Prevent issues by having an effective approval process. Your staff should be checking each dish individually. This will prevent complaints, reduce waste and ultimately save you time from having to deal with these errors.
It is better to identify an issue before it reaches your customers and the tools are available for you to.
Analytics and Insights
Kitchen screens keep track and provide you useful insights.
Want to know how many items were sent back to the kitchen?
Want to know the average preparation time?
Set time limits and see how many times your limits were breached?
Wish to see what items are taking the longest to produce?
Analytics such as these can identify bottlenecks and other issues within your kitchen, giving you facts on which you can take action
You can even use these stats to create a little inter store or team rivalry or targets for the store. Who can keep the highest percentage below your preparation KPI’s? Who submitted the most tickets to the kitchen? Who on average was able to turn tables quicker?
The benefits don’t just end there. When it comes to training new starters or even if you have been required to hire an agency worker, kitchen screens allow you to define a standardised process that everyone works to. Tickets are marked in the same way and follow the same process regardless of who is in control.
Plus kitchen screens can even show you recipes and this helps new and existing staff. The information doesn’t have to be retained in staff members' heads, or written on a scruffy bit of paper that can never be found, and if for whatever reason the chef isn’t able to work, someone can jump straight in and know how to prepare your recipes to your standards.
Environment & Cost Efficiency
Screens have no ongoing costs and use very small amounts of electricity compared to printers.
For example, restaurant A has 100 orders per day. For those 100 orders 1 receipt is printed and 1 kitchen ticket is printed. So we are now on 200 pieces of paper being printed at a minimum per day. They cannot be recycled and are almost always binned immediately.
We put the average receipt and kitchen ticket size at 15cm. So each order produces 30cm of paper. With just 100 orders per day, 30 metres of paper is printed. This means each year you are printing 11000 metres of paper. Your average till roll is around 50 metres in length. You need 220 rolls per year at an approximate cost of £165 per year.
This example is very much at the lower end and doesn’t take into account reprinted tickets and receipts, or kitchens where multiple tickets are printed or who have hundreds of orders per day. The cost of printers can quickly rack up.
Being environmentally friendly not only reduces costs but you are also doing your part for the planet, but also provides you with a unique selling point over your rivals. Brand recognition is important today and being associated with such values gives you another angle to drive customers into your restaurant.
It is important to remember kitchen screens are here to enhance the communication of your team and not replace it. They make communicating quicker, no need to interpret handwriting and everyone will start to use the same terminology. This helps to reduce mistakes across the board and allows errors to be addressed before they get to the customer.
There are many other benefits to having a kitchen screen, especially one that is integrated into your online ordering, so that wherever your order comes from, they automatically appear in your kitchen. You can also choose from multiple layouts, allowing you to order your tickets as you did when using printers.
Your kitchen screen can also be directly linked to your driver management, so you can assign drivers and keep on top of order progress.