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Square KDS Guide

Square KDS is a kitchen display system that connects with Square for Restaurants, Square Point of Sale, Square Online and our online ordering and delivery platforms. Square KDS is included in the Square for Restaurants Plus Subscriptionor as a standalone KDS subscriptionfor £15 per device per month.

Important to Note:

  • The Square KDS app is only available on iPad devices with iOS 13+.

  • Square KDS will require an Internet connection to receive tickets.

  • Order tickets sent to Square KDS can also be printed from the Point of Sale in case you need a physical copy.

  • All orders from Square for Restaurants and Point of Sale will appear on the KDS. Your KDS can receive orders from: Square for Restaurants on iPads, Point of Sale on iPads, Android devices and Square Terminal, Square Online orders, any third-party delivery partner sending orders, or any third-party kiosk partner sending orders to Square.

Getting Started

Station Types

Square KDS offers two types of station to help streamline your kitchen fulfilment: Preparation (Prep) station and Expeditor (Expo) station. To start using Square KDS, you’ll need to choose the type of station you need. Don’t worry, you aren’t bound to one station forever – you can choose one station or multiple stations for each type and adjust your station types whenever you need.

Both types of station sync and communicate with one another in real time, creating an efficient workflow – but they also have a few differences.

With Prep Stations, you can:

  • Set layouts

  • Set yellow and red timers

  • View all orders 

  • View All Day counts

  • Route based on category configuration

  • Recall tickets

  • Clear all tickets 

With Expo stations, you have all the same capabilities as Prep stations and can also:

  • View completed items and tickets from Prep stations.

  • Mark items and tickets as complete – this will also mark them as complete at all other stations.

  • Recall completed tickets back to the Expo station(s) or to both the Expo and Prep station.

Creating a Square KDS Login

In order to start using Square KDS, you’ll need to create a device code for the iPad(s) you plan on using. To do so,

  1. Head to your online Square Dashboard

  2. Tap the three lines and select Devices > Kitchen Displays

  3. Tap Add a Kitchen Display.

  4. Enter a nickname & select a location.

  5. Tap Next.

  6. Choose to send your code via email or phone number and tap Send. You’ll need this code to sign into the Square KDS app.

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

Downloading the Square KDS app

To download the app:

  1. Navigate to the App Store on an iPad running iOS 13 or higher.

  2. Search for Square KDS app.

  3. Select Install to download the Square KDS app.

Setting up Square KDS

Once you download the Square KDS app, log in with the device code you created above. Once you log in with the device code, head to the settings section by tapping the gear icon.

Selecting Items to Display

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

  1. Open Square KDS.

  2. Tap the three horizontal lines to open the launchpad.

  3. Tap the settings gear icon.

  4. Tap Items on Tickets.

  5. Toggle on the categories that you want to display.

Note: If you don’t have categories assigned to items on your Square Dashboard, you can refer to this Support Centre Article to create new categories for your items. Keep in mind that categories for Square Online are completely separate from your KDS categories.

Setting the proper layout

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

  1. Open Square KDS.

  2. Tap the three horizontal lines to open the launchpad.

  3. Tap the settings gear icon.

  4. Tap Layout.

  5. Select your appropriate text size.

  6. Select your preferred layout.

Setting Timers & Alerts

You can enable alerts and timers on your display. To do so:

  1. Open Square KDS.

  2. Tap the three horizontal lines to open the launchpad.

  3. Tap the settings gear icon.

  4. Tap Timer & Alerts.

  5. Select the appropriate timeframe for Yellow and Red alerts.

Enabling Online Orders

  1. Open Square KDS.

  2. Tap the three horizontal lines to open the launchpad.

  3. Tap the settings gear icon.

  4. Tap Orders.

  5. Toggle on View Online orders.

  6. Select New online order is placed or Online order is marked in progress based on your preference.

Enable Orders from Point of Sale

You can decide whether orders from your POS devices will be sent to your KDS. To enable POS orders:

  1. Open Square KDS.

  2. Tap the three horizontal lines to open the launchpad.

  3. Tap the Settings gear icon.

  4. Tap Orders.

  5. To enable, toggle ONView Point of Sale Orders to have orders placed on your POS sent to your Square KDS device.

To disable, toggle OFFView Point of Sale Orders.

Using Square KDS

Completing a single item on a ticket

Tap the completed item directly on the display. If you selected the wrong item by accident, tap that item again to deselect it. Keep in mind that you only have three seconds to undo the item completion. After that, you can view the ticket in the completed tab.

Completing 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 on accident, tap the white area below the blue Completed banner. Keep in mind that you have three seconds to undo the ticket completion. After that, you can view the ticket in the completed tab.

Viewing Completed tickets

To view your completed tickets, tap Completed on the top of your screen.

Clear All Tickets

To mark all of your tickets as complete, tap Clear All and then tap the box again to confirm that you truly want to clear all. Once you have cleared all tickets, the last 100 tickets received will appear in your completed ticket list. Recalling Tickets

To recall a ticket, tap the Recall button at the bottom of the ticket in the completed view. The ticket will now appear in the live view.

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 KDS.

  2. Tap the three horizontal lines to open the launchpad.

  3. Tap the item(s) you want to see All Day Counts for. …Items will be highlighted across all tickets, and you'll see their All Day Counts. 

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


You can view your Square KDS reports right on your Square Dashboard or view individual device reports in the app. The Kitchen Performance report shows your completed ticket count and average completed ticket time across all tickets by KDS device name, location and timeframe.

To view your Square KDS report:

  1. Head to your Square Dashboard.

  2. Click Reports.

  3. Click Kitchen Performance.

  4. Select your preferred time frame and filters at the top of the report.

Keep in mind: The completed ticket metric is based on the device where the ticket was completed. Lastly, the ticket time is calculated from the time the ticket appeared on KDS to the time it was marked as completed.


If your Square KDS is having trouble connecting with Restaurants, try the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. Check to make sure you are using the most recent version of the Restaurants app and KDS app.

  2. Check that your iOS is up to date on your device.

  3. Navigate 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.

  4. Navigate to Settings on your KDS app to check that your preferred orders are turned ON.

  5. Restart the Square KDS app.

  6. 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 on Dashboard and in the KDS app.