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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 subscription.

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.

  • 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 Square Register and iPads, Point of Sale on iPads, Android devices, Square Register, and Square Terminal, Square Online orders, any third party delivery partner sending orders, or any third party kiosk partner sending orders to Square.

KDS Subscription Pricing

To access KDS on its own, you can subscribe to the Square KDS subscription at a discounted $10 per device per month. Starting on January 1, 2020, the price will be $20 per device per month.*

*Limited time offer valid 3/30/21 12am PST through 12/31/2021 11:59pm PST.  Eligible sellers will receive $10 per month per active KDS device pricing within the US during the promotional period, inclusive of all fees and taxes, and will then be automatically migrated to the standard $20 per month per active KDS device price upon conclusion of the promotional period, unless the seller elects to opt out of the KDS product. All sellers will be notified via e-mail prior to the end of the promotional period with the option to opt out before being migrated to standard pricing. Pricing is applicable to unlimited activated KDS devices at unlimited locations per account holder. To avail yourself of this offer, activation of the Square for Restaurants Free plan is required. You must be signed into your own account. Square reserves the right to modify, revoke, or cancel the offer at any time. Void where prohibited, not redeemable for cash, and non-transferable.

Getting Started

Station Types

Square KDS offers two types of stations to help streamline your kitchen fulfillment: 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 stations 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. Click the three lines and select Devices > Kitchen Displays

  3. Click Add a Kitchen Display.

  4. Enter a nickname and select a location.

  5. Select if you want a Prep or Expo station.

  6. Click Next.

  7. Choose to send your code via email or phone number and click 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 Center 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 set 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 ON View Point of Sale Orders to have orders placed on your POS sent to your Square KDS device.

To disable, toggle OFF View Point of Sale Orders.

Using Square KDS

Completion Status

Both Prep stations and Expeditor stations have the ability to mark single items or whole tickets as complete. Expo stations have an additional feature that will automatically let third-party delivery services know when an order is ready by completing the ticket.

To enable this feature, please follow these steps:

  1. Head to your Square Dashboard

  2. Click the three horizontal lines and select Devices

  3. Click Kitchen Displays and then click Kitchen Settings

  4. Select the location for Kitchen Order Updates

  5. Toggle the feature ON

  6. Click Save

Note: This is only available for Expo stations and not Prep stations. When activated, this setting will apply to all Expo stations assigned to the selected location.

Completing a single item on a ticket

Tap the completed item directly on the display. If you selected the wrong item on accident, tap that item again to deselect. 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 clear your KDS and start fresh, mark all of your tickets as complete by tapping Clear All and then the confirm button. Once you have cleared all tickets, the last 100 tickets received will appear in your completed ticket list and your live ticket view will be empty.

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.

Note: If you have the Automatic Order Update feature enabled on your Expeditor 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 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.

Reporting

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

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.

Troubleshooting

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.

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