Does your restaurant have a kitchen display system? If not, now may be the perfect time to invest in one.

Improved efficiency, order accuracy, and customer experience are just a few of the benefits that a kitchen display system (KDS) offers. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between a KDS and POS, their benefits, and how to use them.

POS Kitchen Display System vs. Restaurant POS System: What’s the Difference in 2023?

kds system for restaurants

While kitchen display systems and POS systems aim to streamline operations, they serve different purposes.

  • Kitchen display systems are strictly for back-of-house operations. They help automate kitchens and eliminate the need for printers and paper. 
  • A POS system is designed for front-of-house use. It records customer transactions and other information. It also initializes the ordering process and helps the kitchen start preparing the order.

Often, KDS and POS work together to keep the front and back of the house connected and running smoothly. A customer places an order, and the POS records the transaction and order details. That info is sent to the KDS at the back of the house to start the prepping and cooking process right away.

These systems ensure that no time is wasted, and food arrives in a timely manner.

How a KDS System for Restaurants Works

A kitchen screen system is designed to help make the back of the house more efficient and to reduce the risk of errors. 

Typically, these systems consist of multiple KDS monitors, each of which is placed at different stations in the kitchen where meal preparation takes place. Each monitor will display what needs to be prepared at each individual station.

A KDS may also have other features, like:

Cook Times

Ensures that cooking times are managed properly to balance out foods with shorter and longer cooking times. 

Coursing Manager

Groups course items together so that drinks and foods can be sent in one chunk and customers receive their items at the right time. 

Rules must be set for courses, such as timing and item IDs, to ensure everything runs smoothly.


A recipe viewer makes it easy for staff to see what needs to be prepared and when. This feature helps reduce training costs and paper waste.


Some kitchen display systems will also provide basic routing information, so food can be moved from one station to the next in the most efficient manner. 

Benefits of Using a Kitchen Display System and POS to Manage Your Kitchen

pos kitchen

Adding a kitchen display system to your restaurant comes with many benefits, including:

Accurately Track and Fulfill Orders

Integrating a KDS system into your restaurant's workflow will help ensure that orders are accurately tracked and fulfilled. 

With metrics like average fulfillment time, you can provide customers with a more accurate estimate of when their order will be ready.

The system also ensures that no orders go missing.

Streamline the Prep and Cooking Processes

A KDS makes it easy for cooks and staff to prepare the right amount of food, using the right ingredients and in the most efficient way. 

Many systems will do the math for you, so your staff can focus on cooking and preparation. For example, a KDS can tell your chef exactly how many burger patties need to be cooked on the grill and how many orders of fries need to be put into the basket. 

Improve Efficiency

The right KDS can improve a restaurant’s overall efficiency.

It will ensure that:

  • Tickets are routed to the right stations and lines 
  • Orders and items are prioritized properly 

When connected to your POS system, KDS can help streamline both front-of-house and back-of-house workflows. It also makes it easy for your restaurant to start taking online orders and integrating them into the kitchen workflow with ease.

Improved efficiency boosts the customer experience, prevents mistakes, and helps maximize profits.

Manage Your Inventory

Most POS systems are integrated with inventory management systems. When orders are fulfilled through the POS system, all items and ingredients associated with the order are removed from inventory.

In this way, a POS system allows for easy, automated, and accurate inventory management. Managers will also be alerted when items are running low, so they can place orders and keep the kitchen stocked.

Even without a KDS, a POS system will help ensure that your inventory is in check while saving valuable time.

Prevent Theft

When used together, KDS and POS can help prevent theft. The POS helps ensure that food items are only prepared when they’re ordered by customers. The inventory management feature also helps managers and owners keep an eye on their ingredients and detect theft that may have otherwise gone under the radar.

While it’s impossible to stop all theft, KDS and POS can help deter employees from stealing.

Generate Reports

POS systems may also have reporting features that help improve restaurant management. 

Data from sales reports, for example, can help you make smarter menu changes. If the report indicates that a dish isn’t selling well, it can be removed from the menu and replaced with something more profitable and appealing to customers.

More advanced systems offer ingredient-level reporting that can help streamline inventory purchases.

As you can see, KDS and POS work better together. They can not only help improve your restaurant’s efficiency, but also increase your bottom line and enhance the customer experience.

Using a Kitchen Screen System and POS Together

A POS kitchen display system can work together to maximize efficiency in virtually all areas of restaurant operation.

It is important to note, however, that the KDS you choose will depend on the POS system you already have in place. Many kitchen display systems can integrate into a variety of POS systems, providing you with the most flexibility and versatility.

When integrating KDS and POS, proper training is key. These systems won’t benefit your restaurant if your staff and managers don’t know how to use them. Fortunately, many providers offer training to make this process easier. 

Once these systems are up and running and your staff learns how to use them, your restaurant will reap the rewards of better efficiency, happier customers, and a better bottom line.