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Route Orders with Square KDS

Filtering orders on your KDS helps you route items and orders to specified KDS screens, increasing your team’s efficiency to prep orders faster with the relevant order information available for each kitchen station. Split up kitchen tasks into more specific stations and determine where orders are pulled from and where to display items/orders on your KDS screen.

Category Filtering

With categories, you can streamline kitchen food prep by automatically routing certain items to various prep stations. You can choose to filter by your item categories or kitchen-specific categories. The default KDS setting will use your existing item categories for category filtering and ‘Kitchen routing categories’ can be turned on if needed. Kitchen Routing Categories are separate from categories used in your current item library with Square. Kitchen Routing Categories are available on KDS devices and are only used for KDS screens, thereby not affecting your everyday item or category reporting.

Kitchen Routing Categories is a good fit for you if:

  • Your kitchen has more than one KDS station.

  • You want to route specific items to specific KDS screens.

  • You don’t want to impact your menu categories or reporting for item categories.

Think of kitchen categories as a way to route items to each KDS screen separate from your existing categories (i.e. these new categories will not impact your reporting).

If you use Categories for Menus: you no longer risk having irrelevant menu groups that were meant to route items to kitchen stations, in order to access item routing.

  • For example, you won’t have to create a ‘Bar & Dessert’ category just to route an affogato dessert to the bar. And you won’t have to create a ‘Grill Station A’ just to route kebab meats to the right KDS screen.

If you use Categories for reporting in Square: you can use our new kitchen category feature to route items to your KDS without impacting your accounting.

  • For example, now you can have categories for accounting purposes like ‘Alcoholic Beverages’, ‘Non-Alcoholic Beverages’, etc. without having an arbitrary routing category for your kitchen like ‘Hot station’ peppered in.

Note: Categories are set at the account level so if you have two locations, the category will show up for both locations. Customising specific categories for multiple locations is a feature request at this time.

Item Category Filtering

Go to your Square Dashboard to use your account default item categories for filtering:

  1. Create categories for an item.

  2. Assign items to the category.

  3. Go into your KDS to choose which categories you want to route to the KDS screen.

Kitchen Category Filtering

To use kitchen-specific categories on your KDS:

  1. Enable Kitchen Categories in Kitchen Settings from your Square Dashboard:

    1. Navigate to Devices > Kitchen Settings > Kitchen Routing.

    2. Toggle on ‘Use Kitchen routing categories on KDS’.

    3. You can manage an item’s kitchen category on the kitchen routing page or in the item detail page of your item library or menu. Item Categories with Square KDS

  2. Create kitchen routing categories:

  3. From your Square Dashboard, click Devices > Kitchen Settings > Kitchen Routing. Kitchen Categories on Square KDS

  4. Click Create New Category and assign items to your new kitchen category.

  5. Go into your KDS app to choose which categories you want to route to the KDS screen.

    1. In your KDS app, go to Settings > Routing > Item & Categories.

    2. Confirm that you see the list of Kitchen Categories (if not visible, go back and check your Kitchen Routing page on your Square Dashboard).

  6. Edit each item to mark which kitchen category the item should route to from item settings. You can edit from the Item Detail Page on your Square Dashboard:

    1. On Dashboard, click Menus/Items > Item > Item Detail Page.

    2. If Kitchen Categories are already enabled, then click on the drop-down field ‘Kitchen Routing category’.

    3. Select your existing category (or categories) or create a new category to assign to the item.

Dining Options Filtering

Dining Option filtering allows kitchen staff to route tickets or items to specific KDS screens based on Dining Options entered from POS orders (i.e. Dine-In, Takeaway, etc.).

Here are some examples of how routing by dining option can be used:

  • Filter to only ‘Pickup’ and ‘Takeaway’ orders at a station focused on packaging takeaway orders.

  • Filter to only ‘Pickup’ and ‘Delivery’ orders at a station that manages order retrievals by delivery couriers.

  • Filter to only ‘Dine-In’ orders at a station that focuses on in-house meals only.

Note: Dining Options are different from your fulfilment types associated with online orders (i.e. pickup and delivery.) Learn more about managing online orders with Square. The filters will apply to POS-created orders’ Dining Options, and DOES NOT apply to online orders’ fulfilment types (even if they have the same name (i.e. Pickup, Delivery).

Set Up Dining Options on Dashboard

To turn on Dining Options:

  1. From your online Square Dashboard, select the Items tab.

  2. Select Settings from within the menu at the top of the page.

  3. Click Set Up Dining Options.

Filter Dining Options on KDS

To filter your KDS screen to only show specific Dining Options:

  1. Go to your KDS app settings and tap Routing > Source & Fulfilment.

  2. Scroll down to ‘Dining Options’.

  3. Pick which Dining Option you want to turn on from the list.

    1. If a Dining Option isn’t showing up, please check your Dashboard to make sure the Dining Option is enabled for that location.

Learn more about applying Dining Options to an order or item.

POS Routing

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

  1. On the KDS, tap Settings > Orders.

  2. Toggle on View Point of Sale Orders.

  3. Tap Edit next to receive orders from all points of sale.

  4. Select which points of sale send orders to this KDS station. You have the option to toggle on:

    1. 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 navigation drop-down, then select POS Devices.

    2. Receive orders from all future named points of sale: If selected, all future named POS added at this location will send orders to this KDS. 

  5. Select which POS sources that you’d like to send orders to your KDS.

  6. Tap Save.

Learn more about how to Create Device Codes with Square.

Online Orders

To filter for online orders on the KDS:

  1. Tap Settings > Orders and toggle on View online orders.

  2. Select from the following: Show online orders when they’re placed, Show online orders when marked in progress, and/or Show online orders based on pickup time

  3. Select Edit to specify the amount of time tickets show up on the KDS before pickup time. The default setting is tickets will appear 30 seconds before pickup time.

Note: Filtering by POS source with Square KDS does not include filtering by online order source. Keep an eye on the Seller Community for future updates on order filtering.

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