Kitchen Order Tickets in Restaurants Today

Kitchen Order Tickets have come a long way.

They used to be names of dishes written on tiny paper slips, that a server brought to the kitchen and stuck on the kitchen counter. The chef would then look at the tickets to shout out orders into the kitchen. 

The restaurant industry in recent years has seen a tremendous change in terms of technology being used for different functions. All restaurant operations are getting digitized. This has greatly simplified the restaurant management system.

Today, Kitchen Order Tickets are generated instantly and sent to Kitchen Display Systems placed in the restaurant kitchen.

Kitchen Order Tickets

What is a Kitchen Order Ticket?

A Kitchen Order Ticket is simply the order that a customer places. The server takes the order and punches it into the POS system. The POS system then prints a ticket via compatible printers. This printed ticket is then sent to the kitchen and all the order data is retained inside the POS. This data can then be used to generate daily sales reports and more. 

Read here if you want to know more about choosing the best mobile POS system for your restaurant.

Kitchen Order Tickets are sequential in nature, containing details like table number, the order, quantity of each dish, time of order and any specifications regarding the cooking of that particular dish.

Traditional methods are complicated but still used today

In the traditional method, there used to be three copies of a Kitchen Order Ticket. One ticket went to the Kitchen based on which orders were prepared, after which this ticket got stored for audit purposes and records. The cashier got the second copy of the KOT to generate the customer and restaurant copy of the bill. The third copy was retained by servers. For easier recognition and less confusion, many restaurants used different colors for different types of KOTs that were generated.

Eventually, these would get thrown into the trash after all details on the Kitchen Order Tickets got recorded on the main system.

Why you shouldn’t use paper KOTs in your restaurant

Imagine colored post-its flying all over the kitchen counter. Waiters struggling to note down orders. Chefs preparing extra dishes. Sounds chaotic, doesn’t it?

Chances of getting the orders wrong are higher when restaurant kitchens use paper Kitchen Order Tickets. And especially on your most packed days.

Kitchen Order Ticket
Too many paper KOTs create confusion in the kitchen.

1. Double the efforts

Picture this, the server places a KOT at the kitchen counter. The concerned chef starts preparing the dish. Just as he is done, another KOT arrives with the exact same dish from a different table. The chef goes ahead and prepares it again. These orders were placed within a span of say 10 minutes. The chefs have to put in twice the effort. Time taken by the server in taking down and getting an order to the kitchen can be saved if there is a kitchen display system that organizes the order flow and prioritizes them in a neat way. 

2. Wrong orders

The odds of messing up different orders are higher while using paper KOTs. A tiny error on the part of the server, while taking the order, or from the chef’s end while preparing a dish, can have a strong impact on a customer’s experience of your restaurant.

3. Weak management and flow of orders

A lot of time is spent on manually writing down the orders and carrying them to three different places. The wait-staff is constantly on the move leaving them with no or very little time at the customer table. “Who cooks what?”, is not clearly mentioned in paper KOTs and hence the order flow gets disrupted. 

4. Tedious cooking process

There could be times when KOTs are not very neat, making it difficult for the chefs to comprehend what’s written. And there’s no time for guesswork in the kitchen. Cooking becomes a task if the chefs have to try and decode each order that comes to them. Even the tiniest mistake could ruin their entire dish, forcing them to redo it.

5. Against the environment

Once the daily audit of orders is done and all order related data is stored on the restaurant’s main system, paper KOTs are of no use. They are eventually thrown in the bin and new ones are made the next day. As a result, the amount of wastage done on a daily basis is not eco-friendly.  

Cut to 2019 – Digital Kitchen Order Ticket

Given that most restaurants today are going digital, paper Kitchen Order Tickets are slowly becoming a thing of the past. With the introduction of modern Point of Sale systems, order management has improved greatly.

Why your restaurant needs Digital KOTs?

Using a Kitchen Display System at your restaurant kitchen helps in getting rid of paper KOTs and digitalizes your Kitchen Order Ticket system. 

Kitchen Order Ticket at restaurant
Chefs can focus on every order that is placed.

1. Better time conservation

The time which was earlier spent in bringing each order to the kitchen is now saved with automated KOT systems. All the incoming orders are managed centrally on the POS system, from anywhere in the restaurant. Orders are then neatly organized on the screen specifying the time of orders. The kitchen staff can better prioritize incoming orders. 

2. Increased efficiency with aligned processes

Now that individual staff’s responsibilities are clearly defined, preparation and execution of orders become systematic. There’s clear communication between the restaurant staff. The order status can be followed by the entire team and once the order is prepared, chefs inform the waiters about the same. Each employee is able to focus on their functions better. There is no scope of confusion or repetition, making the processes neatly aligned.  

3. No more messed up orders

Digitalizing the process reduces the chances of manual errors. With digital KOTs, the front and back of the house are in complete sync.  The meals are not prepared in a hurry. And servers know the orders of tables assigned to them.

4. Minimum waste produced

All kitchen order tickets, online or otherwise are shown on the KDS screens. As a result, no extra dishes are cooked. Servers no longer have to manually note down orders. Instead, they can conveniently take down the orders on handheld POS devices. Imagine the number of trees you can save once you stop using paper KOTs.

5. Higher sales and lower expenses

Now that the flow of orders is smooth and streamlined, orders are completed quickly. Your restaurant’s sales will naturally increase if more tables are served. Apart from this, unnecessary costs like buying paper for writing down and printing Kitchen Order Tickets get reduced largely. Labor costs also go down with an electronic KOT system.

Signing off

Kitchen Order Tickets contain extremely crucial details related to orders placed by customers. Once your restaurant KOTs are electronically generated, the staff is able to focus on their individual tasks. The meals are prepared on time, reducing the wait time for customers. Therefore, you can focus more on building amazing customer experiences for them.

So when are you shifting to electronic Kitchen Order Tickets?

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Devyani Singh

Devyani Singh

Devyani is a content marketer at LimeTray. Often seen with her earphones on listening to 90s rock and Jazz or reading Harry Potter all over again. She's extremely fascinated by trees and can be seen photographing them every now and then. She is reachable at