Buying the right kitchen printer is a key ingredient to running an efficient restaurant. This article explains what kitchen printers are and their benefits.
When you order a meal, your order is entered into the system and sent to the kitchen printers in the back. Here are a few benefits to consider.
Increased Order Accuracy
When a chef gets an order, they will hear it being printed at their station by the kitchen printer. They will know what to prepare because they get exactly what was entered into the system. They read a legible ticket and don’t need to yell for the waiter to come back to the kitchen and clarify the order, which is usually what happens when waiters pass handwritten orders to the chef.
Kitchen printers eliminate the risk of chefs or cooks misreading a handwritten ticket and having to do an order over. The orders are always accurate.
The risk of internal disputes is eliminated when everyone works in the same system and with the same data. The only mistakes are when someone is entering an order into the system manually. Apart from that, all the staff is working with the same information and can cooperate much better on getting orders out as quickly as possible.
Quick Order Delivery
Kitchen printers are purposefully loud when a new ticket is being printed. A lot of them make a notification sound when a new order is being printed. This is because chefs and cooks need to be able to hear the ticket as it prints, especially during rush hour. If they don’t, an order could sit as long as an hour waiting for a cook to see it.
Cooks and chefs don’t have to worry about a handwritten ticket getting lost with a kitchen printer. You can just reprint it and move on without wasting time.
Kitchen staff can consult the printer and start making orders immediately. Employees can route different order components to separate stations automatically, for example hot and cold items to different stations. This way, more than one order can be prepared at the same time. One ticket could have a cocktail, appetizer, main course, and dessert all entered at the same time, but the cook doesn’t get the whole ticket and then have to shout at the dessert person to start making a sundae.
Kitchen printers offer automation and customization on a level that enables the user to configure their settings so that only the main course is printed at the chef station and only the appetizer is printed at the app station. Only the bartender gets the cocktail order, and the dessert item is printed at the dessert station.
Improved Customer Service
Better service leads to increased sales. By supporting faster delivery of food and beverages and enhanced order accuracy, a kitchen printer impacts customer service positively. Restaurateurs can be assured that orders are accurately and quickly prepared with such equipment in their technology toolbox. Multiple items in the same category are delivered at the same time. The better the services are, the higher the sales and profits, and the more loyal customers you get.
It doesn’t take much for paper tickets to be lost or misplaced with staff hurrying about to get their jobs done. Paper tickets can be difficult to tell apart even when they are properly handled. This is because they can be damaged or rendered illegible by heat, spills, and splatter. Ultimately, we have to guess what a given customer has ordered, increasing the risk of order inaccuracies.
A kitchen printer eliminates such issues by showcasing everything food preparation employees have to know about each customer’s order. It serves as a central repository for all orders. With a kitchen printer, information about changes or additions to orders reaches the kitchen as soon as customers state their requests. This prevents frustration among servers, kitchen staff, and customers, makes it possible to deliver accurate orders the first time around, and minimizes waste.
Better Inventory Management
A kitchen printer allows automatic monitoring of order numbers and inventory levels, alerting management when stock is running low and making sure that ingredients and supplies are restocked as needed. Apart from preventing ingredient shortages that compel staff to improvise or cause order inaccuracy, improved inventory management enabled by a kitchen printer makes sure that the ingredients customers want are always available.
What to Look for in a Kitchen Printer
A notification sound when the kitchen printer is working is a crucial feature to look for. You should also look for a rugged construction and impact printing.
When things get busy in the kitchen, they can start looking like warzones. Everyone is scurrying around to get orders out ASAP, chucking pots and pans around. The staff is usually less careful with safety of the devices they use as well as their own safety. The printer should be able to survive a crash down to the floor after someone accidentally knocks it down. It should also be able to withstand being hit by a hot and heavy pot. Restaurant kitchens get rough and very hot. They are no place for a delicate printer that will break in a fall.
Last but not least, look for an impact printer, not a traditional one. Impact printers are not the same as your average retail receipt printers. They may look like them a lot, but there is one key difference between them. Impact printers utilize impact printing technology to print with ink belt impact, while typical receipt printers use thermal technology. They mark the paper with symbols and words using laser-generated heat.
Restaurant kitchens can get very hot and the heat can begin to leave undesired marks on the printer’s paper. Impact printers are much more heat resistant than typical receipt printers. It’s like they say: If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. What is more, typical receipt printers are not loud, which is another disadvantage of having a receipt printer in your restaurant’s kitchen.