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Get Started with Square KDS for Android

Who is this article for?
This article is for restaurant owners and kitchen staff getting started with Square KDS Android for kitchen display system screens.

If you are currently using Square KDS on iPads, you will need to migrate your hardware and software in order to continue your team’s access to your kitchen display system. Learn more about this product change and how to prepare for it in our Seller Community.

Square KDS is a kitchen display system that connects with Square for Restaurants, Square for Retail, Square Point of Sale, Square Online and our online ordering and delivery platforms. Square KDS is included in the Square for Restaurants Plus Subscription or as a standalone KDS subscription.

Get early access to new features and connect with other sellers by joining the Square KDS for Android Beta programme.

Set Up Your Hardware

Recommended Devices

Square KDS is compatible with the following Android devices:

Note: Square KDS is not available on Android phones. If you choose to use the app on a device not listed above, we cannot guarantee the quality of how Square KDS will appear on your device and we will prioritise any bug support to the devices listed above. For this reason, we recommend using one of the supported devices listed above.

If you prefer an Android device not listed above, share your feedback in our Android KDS Feedback Survey.

Reminder: keep the OS updated on your Android device.

Device Mounts

You can mount your Android device on a wall with a compatible VESA mount(available for purchase on Square Shop). You can mount your device on a wall, but avoid areas close to flames, greasy foods or splashing water. 

If you purchase a 10” Lenovo Tab or Samsung Galaxy Tab, you may want to purchase a device holder, such as these Lenovo cases or Galaxy Tab cases.

Download the App

  1. Open the Google Play Store app on your device.

  2. Tap the search field and search for Square KDS Beta.

  3. Tap Install.

Create a Square KDS Login

To create a device code for your Android device:

  1. go to your online Square Dashboard and select Devices > Kitchen Displays.

  2. Click Add a Kitchen Display.

  3. Enter a nickname and select a location.

  4. Select if you want the device to be a Prep or Expeditor station.

  5. Click Next.

  6. Select whether to have your code sent by email or phone number and click Send. You’ll need this code to sign in to the Square KDS app.

Station Types

Square KDS offers two types of stations to help streamline your kitchen fulfilment. To start using Square KDS, you’ll need to choose the type of station you need:

  • Preparation (Prep) station: best for kitchen staff who focus on preparing a certain piece of each order, require less interaction with the overall ticket and need a granular view of only the items they need to make. 

  • Expeditor (Expo) station: best for kitchen staff who bridge front-of-house and back-of-house operations, finalise orders to be delivered to diners, need high-level visibility and control over prep stations, and require more interaction across every ticket.

You can choose one station or multiple stations for each type and adjust your station types whenever you need. Both station types sync and communicate with one another in real time.

Note: since Square KDS is location-specific, it will display every ticket taken from that location. You’ll be able to filter items and/or tickets by category or order source.

Station Setting Prep Station Expo Station
Set layouts ✔️ ✔️
Set yellow and red timers ✔️ ✔️
View all orders ✔️ ✔️
View All Day counts ✔️ ✔️
Route based on category configuration ✔️ ✔️
Recall tickets ✔️ ✔️
Clear all tickets ✔️ ✔️
View completed items and tickets from Prep stations ✖️ ✔️
Marking items and tickets as complete will also complete them at all prep stations. ✖️ ✔️
For online orders, marking an item as complete will update the order state to ‘Ready’ ✖️ ✔️
Recall completed tickets back to the expo station or to both the expo and prep station ✖️ ✔️
Mark items as Sold Out ✔️ ✔️
Set up advanced categories and filter by dining options ✔️ ✔️

Set Up the Square KDS App for Android

Select Items to Display

Square KDS displays items based on the categories you assign. To assign categories:

  1. Open Square KDS and tap to open the menu.
  2. Tap the gear icon to view your settings.
  3. Tap Items on Tickets.
  4. Toggle on the categories that you want to display.

Learn more about creating item categories.

Set your layout

With Square KDS, you can toggle different layouts based on your preferred text size and the number of tickets you want displayed. To adjust your layout settings:

    1. Open Square KDS and tap to open the menu.
  1. Tap the gear icon to view your settings.
  2. Tap Layout.
  3. Select your text size.
  4. Select your preferred layout.

Set Timers & Alerts

To enable alerts and timers on your display:

  1. Open Square KDS and tap to open the menu.
  2. Tap the gear icon to view your settings.
  3. Tap Timer & Alerts.
  4. Select the timeframe for yellow and red alerts.

Route Orders through Kitchen Categories, Item Routing and Dining Options

Kitchen Categories streamline food prep for your kitchen staff by automatically routing specific items to specified kitchen prep stations. Dining Options help route your orders to the right place in the kitchen based on dine-in, takeaway and/or delivery. Dining Option filtering allows kitchen staff to route tickets or items with specific Dining Options – as entered on POS orders – to your KDS screen (i.e. Dine-In, Takeaway, etc.). Review our setup instructions for routing orders with Square KDS.

Route Orders from POS to KDS

Set up your KDS to filter which POS devices (Square Point of Sale or Square for Restaurants) show incoming tickets.

  1. Open Square KDS and tap to open the menu.
  2. Tap the gear icon to view your settings, then tap Orders.
  3. Toggle on View Point of Sale Orders.
  4. Tap Edit next to ‘Receive orders from all points of sale’.
  5. Select which points of sale send orders to this KDS station. You have the option to toggle on:
    • Receive orders from all unnamed Square points of sale: Unnamed points of sale can’t be individually identified by KDS. To route by a POS not listed, create a device code from your Square Dashboard. Tap Devices from your drop-down menu, then select POS Devices.
    • Receive orders from all future named points of sale: If selected, all future named points of sale added at this location will send orders to this KDS.
  6. Select which POS sources you would like to send orders to your KDS.
  7. Tap Save.

Learn more about setting up POS Routing with Square KDS.

Route online orders to Square KDS

Customise when online orders will appear on your KDS by choosing from three timing options:

  • When order is placed: Once a customer places an order, the ticket will automatically appear on your KDS.
  • When marked as in progress: Orders will appear on the KDS station when they are marked as in progress.
  • Based on pickup time: Set how far in advance of the order pickup time you want orders to appear on your KDS station.

You can switch between filters as needed. To display your online orders:

  1. Open Square KDS, and tap to open the menu.
  2. Tap the gear icon to view your settings, then tap Orders.
  3. Toggle on View online orders, then choose how you want to see your online orders; when an order is placed, when an order is marked in progress or based on the order pickup time.
  4. If you choose Show online orders based on pickup time, tap Edit to change your timeframe.
  5. Set your time before pickup in hours and minutes, then tap Done. The time you choose will display under the view option.

Set up kitchen-facing names

If you’re using Square for Restaurants, you can add an internal kitchen-facing name to any item, variation or modifier. Setting up kitchen facing names allows items, variations or modifiers to have the internal names preferred by your kitchen staff.

Use KDS for Android

Completion status

Both prep stations and expeditor (expo) stations can mark single items or whole tickets as complete. Expo stations have an additional feature that will automatically alert third-party delivery services when an order is ready by completing the ticket.

To enable this feature:

  1. Go to Devices on your online Square Dashboard.
  2. Click Kitchen settings.
  3. Select the location for kitchen order updates.
  4. Toggle on Automatically send order updates.
  5. Click Save.

Note: This is only available for expo stations. When activated, this setting will apply to all expo stations assigned to the selected location.

Coursing

Coursing helps you and your team manage the flow of bills – for both the front and back of house. Coursing is designed to easily group items, add items and let the kitchen know when to hold or start sending away dishes.

Coursing is an optional setting, so you’ll need to visit your [POS Device settings on your Square Dashboard](https://squareup.com/dashboard/point-of-sale/devices0 to turn on Coursing and Hold/Away.

To edit the coursing format your kitchen prefers on each KDS device:

  1. Open Square KDS.
  2. Tap the three horizontal lines to open the launchpad.
  3. Tap the settings gear icon.
  4. Select Coursing.
  5. Choose between Show away and held courses or Only show away courses.

Complete a single item on a ticket

On Square KDS, tap the completed item directly on the display. If you select the wrong item, tap the item again to deselect it.

Note: You only have three seconds to undo item completion. After that, you can view the ticket in the Completed tab.

Complete the whole ticket at once

Tap the top banner of the ticket you want to complete and confirm by selecting Complete Ticket. If you completed the wrong ticket, tap the white area below the blue Completed banner.

Note: You have three seconds to undo the ticket completion. After that, you can view the ticket in the Completed tab.

View completed tickets

To view your completed tickets, tap Completed.

Clear all tickets

To mark all of your tickets as complete, tap Settings > General > Clear Tickets and tap the box again to confirm. Once you have cleared all tickets, the last 100 tickets received will appear in your completed ticket list.

Recall tickets or items

Restaurants can recall completed tickets if they accidentally completed the ticket or need to remake an item on a ticket.

To recall a ticket, tap Recall at the bottom of the ticket in the completed view.

To recall an item in a ticket, select the item and tap Recall item. You can also recall an item when the ticket is in the open view.

To recall an item in a ticket, select the item and tap Recall item. You can also recall an item even if the ticket is still in the Open view.

Note: If you have the Automatic Order Update feature enabled on your expo station, recalling a completed ticket will not remove the ticket from Ready status on third-party platforms.

Viewing All-Day Count

Expeditors and head chefs use the term All Day to refer to a count of a particular item that requires preparation across all tickets in the queue. To view a specific item across all open tickets:

  1. Open Square for KDS.
  2. Tap .
  3. Tap the item(s) you want to see All-Day Counts for. Items will be highlighted across all tickets, and you’ll see the All-Day Counts.
  4. To see the fullscreen view of your All-Day Counts, tap View all counts > View Fullscreen.

Once you mark an item as completed, it will automatically be subtracted from the All-Day Count.

Restaurants - Square KDS - View All-Day Count

KDS Reporting

You can view your Square KDS reports on your online Square Dashboard. The Kitchen Performance report shows your completed ticket count, average completed ticket time and average item completion time across all tickets by KDS device name, location and timeframe.

To view your Square KDS report:

  1. go to Reporting or Reports on your Square Dashboard.

  2. Click Kitchen performance and select a device.

  3. Select Ticket performance to view the average completion time per ticket, or select Item performance to view the average completion time for all items, ranked in quantity from highest to lowest.

  4. Select your preferred timeframe and filter at the top of the report.

The completed ticket metric is based on the device where the ticket was completed. The ticket time is calculated by subtracting the time the ticket appeared on KDS from the time the ticket is marked as completed. The item time is calculated by subtracting the time the item appeared on KDS from the time the item is marked as completed.

Troubleshooting

If Square KDS is not connecting with Square for Restaurants or Square for Retail:

  • check to make sure you are using the most recent version of the Square Restaurants POS app or Square Retail POS app and the Square KDS app.

  • Check that your operating system is up to date on your device.

  • Go to Settings on your KDS app to double-check that your preferred item categories are enabled and that the correct items are in the selected item categories.

  • Go to Settings on your KDS app to check that your preferred orders are enabled.

  • Restart the Square KDS app.

  • Take a trial order to double-check that your KDS is properly receiving orders from the Point of Sale.

Note: your KDS device automatically connects to Point of Sale, as long as your KDS is created for the same location as your Point of Sale device. All setup is configured in your Dashboard and in the KDS app.

Get early access to new features and connect with other sellers by joining the Square KDS for Android Beta programme.

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