Ryan Williams
Jeremy Julian

Implementing Automated Kitchen Management Systems

February 24, 2015

Ah, the kitchen. The heart of the restaurant. It’s truly where the magic happens, isn’t it? Where ordinary morsels of food are transformed into works of art, engaging the senses and delighting the palette.

Implementing Automated Kitchen Management Systems

Customers envision that behind those double doors are brilliant chefs (usually European – why is that?) in clean white coats and tall hats, hard at work creating their culinary masterpieces, floating about the kitchen with inspiring classical music playing in the background, a glistening of sweat on their brow. It’s a fantastic mystery, like the inner workings of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

We’ll just let them carry on with that fantasy…but we know the truth. While the kitchen is indeed the heart of a restaurant, often it ends up being more of a chaotic madhouse than a well-oiled machine. It’s hot, greasy, noisy, and (hopefully) incredibly busy in there. People are yelling orders, bumping into one another, and scurrying from station to station to get orders out on time.

Streamlining Service to Focus on Food

Any restaurateur knows that in order to create customer loyalty, the customers have to be happy. And to keep them happy, you have to provide great food and great service. We can’t help with the food (though we are more than happy to eat it and provide our feedback), but we CAN help with the service. Obviously your wait staff is key to creating a positive customer experience, but another very important component of great service happens in the kitchen.

The right kitchen management program will keep your kitchen organized and running smoothly, with specific (and correct!) orders coming in for all the kitchen staff to see. You’ll be able to keep the hot food hot and the cold food cold, arrange it beautifully on the plate, and place it in front of the guest in a timely manner. This entire process can be streamlined with an automated kitchen management system.

Related Post: 5 Tips for Adding Touchscreen Technology to Your Kitchen

Implementing Automated Kitchen Management Systems

Here are just a few of the benefits of an automated kitchen management system:

  • secure your recipes and easily modify them across all locations (or select ones)
  • improve food quality
  • make the process more efficient, saving on labor
  • shorten table turns
  • get food to customers quickly
  • keep reports of important data, such as speed of service and popular menu items
  • customize with colors, fonts, and graphics to enhance efficiency, accuracy, and training

A well-constructed kitchen management system will come with a terminal that is built to withstand the heat and humidity common to the kitchen environment.

Products such as Northstar Order Entry, Northstar Recipe Viewer, QSR Automations ConnectSmart Kitchen, and Bematech KDS Manager v3.1 are all valuable software that can provide your business with more metrics and provide your staff with the information they need to do their jobs correctly and efficiently.

These softwares will allow you to view, edit, and keep secure your beloved recipes; plan ahead for rush periods; transfer orders to other (less busy) kitchen stations in a rush; move a rush order to the top of the queue; view statistical reports for each station; and more. Pretty much anything that’s been necessary but difficult to keep track of manually can now be automated, making your life easier and the information much more accurate, and helping your business stick around for the long haul. Whew!

What successes or challenges have you experienced with implementing an automated kitchen management system? Tell us in the Comments section below!

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