Food not arriving quickly enough has been identified as the number one frustration for consumers when dining out and an effective kitchen management system as the secret ingredient to delivering customer satisfaction.

The research by Zonal Retail Data Systems and CGA showed that nearly half of consumers (47%) cited slow food delivery as their biggest bugbear. Stuart McLean, Zonal’s chief executive, explained: “Delays in the kitchen and poor communication between waiting and kitchen teams can leave diners with a bad taste in their mouths.”

In light of this fact, Zonal has developed Kitchen iQ to help operators improve speed, quality and accuracy of service and transform the overall dining out experience.

Kitchen iQ provides a comprehensive kitchen and service management solution that delivers visible real-time information to both kitchen and service staff. The versatile system can be tailored to the needs of any operation and, as it’s fully integrated with Zonal’s Aztec EPoS software, it completes Zonal’s unique service tool chain.

For multi-site operators, Kitchen iQ offers central configuration with the ability to change and update screens across a whole or part of an estate from one central location. Business intelligence is delivered through real time reporting on order, prep and wait times at both site and estate levels.

For smaller operators, Kitchen iQ provides a modular cost effective solution that can grow with the business, with the option to add screens and further reporting functionality when needed.

Once orders are taken, kitchen screens, which can be personalised to the needs of any operation, present the information in a clear and concise format. To further improve efficiency, orders are automatically routed to their correct cooking stations plus warning and alert times set so that the kitchen is fully aware of progress.

Colour coded screens indicate the status of orders and a simple to use multifunctional Bump Bar allows teams to move orders through different stages. As the orders progress, the system will page front of house teams to notify when orders are ready, improving communication.

Stuart added: “We have conducted extensive trials and feedback on Kitchen iQ has been extremely positive. In particular, operators welcome the completely integrated nature of this intelligent system that can be tailored to their specific needs and used as a valuable tool to drive efficiency and customer satisfaction.”

Kitchen iQ is designed to improve speed and accuracy across the whole food delivery process, especially at times when kitchens are under pressure.

“This is where integrated systems like Kitchen iQ really come into their own. They get waiting and kitchen staff working in harmony to give customers what they want: good food served quickly and accurately,” said Stuart.

Kitchen iQ completes the product suite of technology solutions enabling Zonal to offer a fully integrated service to any hospitality business.

Zonal Retail Data Systems is the leading provider of integrated hospitality management solutions to over 8,000 leisure and hospitality businesses across the UK.  For over 35 years, the company has been working closely with clients to enhance the customer experience through market leading technology, experienced people and a partnership approach to business.