Point of sale systems are never complete without printers. Not only do you need printers for receipts, journals and credit card payments, if you are a restaurant you need printers in the kitchen to help stop theft.
Printers in the kitchen are often overlooked for their importance in getting the orders to the kitchen, producing easy to read receipts and as a theft deterrent. Printers in the kitchen reduce noise and confusion and truly speed up service to your customers by eliminating trips to the kitchen to deliver food orders.
If you are a restaurant and do not have printers in your kitchen you might as well not have a point of sale system. That is how important kitchen printers are to your business.
Not too many years ago we installed a simple point of sale system in a small restaurant. The restaurant was a converted house where the owner of the restaurant was the chef. He felt that since he was running the kitchen and the restaurant was small that he had great control of the restaurant. His purpose for investing in a point of sale system was so that he did not have to read the hand written tickets being presented by his wait staff.
At the end of the first night of business with the new point of sale system we looked at the sales totals and found that they had done $300 more than identical nights in the recent past. For his size operation this was substantial. The owner was astonished as he swore that they had not prepared any more food than they normally would. He could not account for the additional business.
Upon further examination of the point of sale reports we found that he had a big increase in the amount of appetizers that were sold that night. He had not prepared that many more than he would only any other night, but the sales increase was definitely attributed to appetizer sales that night.
What this meant was the kitchen did not produce any additional food that night. The owner did have the kitchen completely under control. What he did not control without a point of sale system was the servers not charging for the food he was preparing.
The new system for preparing food required that a receipt be printed on the kitchen printer before the chef/owner would prepare the food. In order for this receipt to be printed the server had to enter the order into the point of sale system. This tandem of a point of sale system and a kitchen printer closed the loop for the restaurant owner.
This is a good example of a simple solution that too many restaurant owners overlook. Too often the kitchen printer is seen as an after thought and an unimportant aspect of a point of sale system. What the restaurant owner should look at is how many preparation stations do they have in the kitchen and how could we utilize printers to speed production and deter theft.
Instead of looking at the cost of kitchen printers the restaurant owners should be considering how these low-cost additions to their point of sale systems will have the fastest return on investment of any aspect of their new system.