How to manage the Order Flow for Full-Service restaurants

How to manage the Order Flow for Full-Service restaurants

In order to give the best service to your customers, based on your restaurant's priorities, you have multiple options to customize the way you want your orders and/or items to be sent from your POS to each prep station (bar, hot kitchen, pastries, etc.)

Most full-service restaurants where customers are seated enable items to be ordered in multiple stages. eg.

  1. Open Table
  2. Order Drinks
  3. Order Appetizers
  4. Order Main Entrees
  5. Order Additional Items
  6. Order Dessert
  7. Close Table & Pay
With the above flow in mind, the options for preparing food are the following:
  1. Group Items By Order or List Items Individually:  Prepare all items for an order (Order) or prepare items as they are ready (Items).  We find that most restaurants want to do this by order so that all items for the table are ready and delivered together.
  2. By Opened Table or Last Item Ordered:  Items or orders can be listed by the time that a table order was opened or by the last time that an item was added to the order.
It's important for your staff to understand how items are grouped and ordered or there may be confusion on the sequence of orders. 

Recurring set ups & issues

Grouped by Order, Listed By Opened Table 

In this example, the restaurant has 3 tables where the patrons order as follows:
  1. Table 1: Drinks, Hot Entrees
  2. Table 2: Drinks, Salad
  3. Table 3: Drinks, Hot Entree

At the "Hot" station, the following app displays the following in the Quick Service Mode.  Note that drinks are not displayed because this is  "Hot" station and drinks are sent to a "Cold" station.  As well, Table 2 is not displayed yet because no "Hot" items are entered on the order yet

This issue can be solved by using the "Listed by Last Item Ordered" as detailed below.

Grouped by Order, Listed By Last Item Ordered

In this example, the restaurant has 3 tables where the patrons order as follows:

  1. Table 1: Drinks, Hot Entrees
  2. Table 2: Drinks, Salad
  3. Table 3: Drinks, Hot Entrees

After a few minutes, table 2 will place their Hot Entree orders and the display will update accordingly.  It will appear that table 2's orders have jumped in front of table 3 though this is not the case because table 2's order was opened before table 3.

When table 2 adds a Hot Entree, the order is moved to the front because the order is listed in order of the most recent item ordered.  Your staff needs to be aware that recently ordered items will pull an older order to the back if a new item has been added to it.
  1. Table 1: Drinks, Hot Entree
  2. Table 3: Drinks, Hot Entree
  3. Table 2: Drinks, Salad, Hot Entree

In most cases, the drinks and salad have already been ordered, though this may not always be the case.  If it is important for your "Hot" station to prepare items in a first-in, first-out model, this may be the best choice for your restaurant.

Grouped By Item, Listed By Last Item Ordered

The Full-Service "Stations Type" provides a view of items that can be ordered by "Time created" or "Time updated".  If your restaurant opts for "Time updated" view then it will support a first-in, first-out preparation model with the most recent items on the top.

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