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Choosing the ultimate restaurant kitchen printer doesn’t have to be so intimidating. Follow these four tips and you’ll be golden.
Your restaurant kitchen is a busy work environment where there isn’t a large margin for error—one mistake means spending time and resources remaking dishes, which could cause a lengthy kitchen backup if it happens several times during a busy shift.
If your wait staff is handwriting tickets for the kitchen, you’re asking for trouble. Meal prep workers who can’t read a server’s handwriting have two choices: guess what the ticket says or spend time asking the server, which can create a ripple effect of extra waiting, starting in the kitchen.
The extra seconds spent trying to decipher someone’s chicken scratch—or worse, having to ask them—can add up to extra minutes that people wait for food or drinks, which means additional time at the table and ultimately, longer wait times for people to be seated. More waiting means less table turns, which will cost you money. However, a restaurant kitchen printer can help recoup wasted minutes by cutting down food prep time and resources spent correcting mistakes.
How do you know which restaurant kitchen printer is right for you? Here are four things to consider:
- Choose an impact printer – Even the cleanest, most well-run kitchen is full of landmines that can damage electronics, especially printers. Heat, spills, particles and steam can harm a restaurant kitchen printer and cause expensive downtime while the printer is repaired or replaced.
Choose an impact printer with a ruggedized design that can withstand the hazards of a restaurant kitchen. Impact printers are designed so a printhead makes impact with an ink ribbon, transferring the message onto the receipt paper. The type of paper is key in this situation. Using impact paper gives the added benefit of withstanding heat, oil, and other harmful conditions found in the kitchen. Unlike thermal paper, impact paper doesn’t black when it is left in the heat of a kitchen.
- Internal power supply – Whether you’re operating a spacious kitchen, small kiosk or food truck, choose a restaurant kitchen printer with an internal power supply. An internal power supply eliminates the need for snaking power cords around the kitchen so printers can be placed at different work stations. If space is at a premium in your eatery, an internal power supply can free up several inches of valuable real estate.
- High-speed throughput – Kitchen backups can quickly snowball into extra waiting, so trim seconds off meal prep times whenever possible. A restaurant kitchen printer should have a high-speed throughput of 13 receipts per minute, which increases staff productivity and efficiency in the kitchen. The printer’s clear, easy-to-read tickets means your staff doesn’t have to play guessing games with the orders –they can print tickets quickly, assemble the dishes faster and ensure every selection comes out correctly the first time. Faster service means more throughput, higher profit margins and bigger tips for your wait staff.
- Easy paper loading – Choose a restaurant kitchen printer that is designed for easy paper loading. A restaurant kitchen printer will help staff shave minutes off food prep time, but don’t squander that saved time on reloading paper or struggling with paper jams—drop-in and print paper loading capability means staff can get back to work quickly.
Restaurant kitchen printers are an important tool for streamlining kitchen operations. An impact printer that prints quickly and clearly will help staff reduce meal prep times and increase order accuracy. Best of all, a kitchen printer will help everyone earn more money: faster table turns means more tips for wait staff and higher profit margins.
Kyle Lauber, the Marketing Coordinator at Star Micronics. Kyle has been in the industry for only two and a half years but he has already touched so many areas. He started out writing blogs, social media posts, and even webpages for Star. Since then, Kyle has become a member of RSPA’s STS Committee, began setting up Star’s Tradeshows, and took on the role of product champion for Star Micronics Cloud Services and mUnite stands.