How can you make your restaurant stand out? Keeping customers coming back isn’t just about serving great food. You need to make sure you provide impeccable service, too. Great service starts with an efficient restaurant. Traditional solutions such as paper tickets can lead to longer cook times, and dry erase boards at the host stand can cause bottlenecks with your front of house. Modernizing your restaurant with technology and hardware is a surefire way to improve the efficiency and enhance the guest experience.

If you are new to restaurant technology, you may be wondering where to start. We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently used restaurant technology and hardware solutions, what they do, and how they’ll benefit your restaurant.

1. POS

A point of sale is found in the front of the house in a restaurant. This is where a server physically rings up a customer’s order and the POS records transactions. A POS could be a terminal or tablet, such as an iPad.

There are many benefits to having a POS including simplifying the accounting process, easy access to past transactions, faster service, and informative itemized receipts. A POS also cuts down on user errors and has cheaper repair costs than a cash register.

2. Pole Display

A pole display will display food items as they are charged so that customers can easily follow along with their bill. It will also display the total cost for the meal to your customers. The pole display integrates with the POS to gather charges.

3. Guest Management

Also known as a reservation system or table management software, this is a front of house solution that manages reservations, wait lists, and provides analytics that helps restaurant owners make important restaurant decisions. A guest management system can help provide a better guest experience by giving guests accurate wait times and by providing a convenient method for making reservations.

Some guest management systems offer a consumer app where guests can check wait times and make their reservations without calling the restaurant, helping your restaurant get found by more diners. In addition, a guest management system can collect important guest information such as details on food allergies, anniversaries, birthdays, and other data that’ll contribute to a better guest experience. They will also keep your host stand organized and assist you in determining how much wait staff you’ll need each night.

4. Kitchen Display System

A Kitchen Display System (KDS) is found in the back of house of a restaurant and replaces your paper tickets and kitchen printers. When an order rings in through a POS, it is displayed on the KDS. A KDS has a digital order viewer that replaces your paper tickets and kitchen printer. In addition, a KDS will manage food routing, recipe storage, and holds important kitchen data. It has many benefits including organizing your back of house, improving efficiency, reducing ticket times, and raising food quality.

5. Inventory Management

This solution integrates with other technology in your restaurant to manage inventory. This will help restaurant owners plan their menu, track food usage, calculate COGS (cost of goods sold), determine food costs, and control wastes. This solution is essential to managing waste, theft, spoilage, and over-production.

6. Controller

This is where customers’ orders are received, organized, and processed to be displayed on the KDS. The controller is the equivalent to a computer tower – it helps power the kitchen display system to ensure it operates at a high rate. Kitchen controllers are made to withstand harsh and high-temperature kitchen environments, making them durable and long lasting for restaurants.

7. Bump Bars

This back of house solution assists the KDS in order management. Kitchen staff can use bump bars to clear orders that have been served and helps create a more efficient kitchen. Similar to kitchen controllers, bump bars are built to withstand harsh and high-temperature kitchen environments. When shopping for a bump bar to accompany your KDS, make sure the bump bar has a competitive touch warranty.

8. Mounting

This type of hardware could be found in the front and/or back of house. This is what holds your KDS and guest management system. A mount keeps wires secure and out of sight. Some mounts offer a quick release that allows monitors to be swapped out without tools.

What QSR can do for Your Restaurant

This list should help you get started on understanding the ins and outs of restaurant technology and hardware. If you interested in learning more, visit QSR’s Products Page. QSR Automations offers a wide range of restaurant technology that is suitable for any restaurant type or size. From independent restaurants to national chains, QSR has helped restaurants save time and resources, as well as maximize sales and profitability.

This post was originally published at QSR Automations.

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