The Smart Docket Queue enables flood control for the kitchen.
Each printer can optionally have it's own Smart Docket Queue. To access this function go to Chewzie Back Office > Dockets and Printers > Kitchen Docket Printers, select the required printer and then navigate to Smart Docket Queue and click enable.
The purpose of the docket queue is to prevent flooding of dockets to the kitchen. The objective is to keep the runner filled with dockets, then print dockets at a manageable rate. Ideally this should simulate 3-4 waiters in a restaurant collecting orders which the kitchen is used to.
Note: The queue takes effect after docket merging times, or pickup later times (takeaway).
At any point of time, the queue can be in 1 of 3 modes, including:
- Open: Dockets print as soon as the orders arrive (after any merging time). This should be set to the size of the runner to allow the runner to be filled up.
- Auto: The dockets are managed by the queue and may be delayed.
- Block: The queue has been manually blocked by a staff member. Dockets will continue to be added to the queue, but won't be printed.
The queue will automatically switch between Open and Auto modes based on the settings.
The Auto-adjust prep time setting allows the delays added by the queue to be visible to the customer. This is usually only set on kitchen printers looking after food. Venues also may opt to not inform customers of delays and can still manually adjust wait times from the dashboard settings.
For example. A venue has a standard completion time of 15 minutes. They have their Auto mode set to print 5 dockets within 10 minutes. Therefore the average time per order is 2 minutes (10 / 5 = 2) There are 10 dockets waiting in the queue.
- Because the average time per order is 2 minutes and there are 10 dockets in the queue, the Smart Queue will calculate the expected wait time as 20 minutes (2 x 10 = 20)
- When added to the standard completion time of 15 minutes, the customer will see a wait time of 35 minutes
Wait times that are manually set from the Chewzie dashboard take precedence over the automatically calculated wait times. The solution automatically reverts back to the system calculated wait times after a specified period. This is configured by adjusting the Reset manual prep time setting.
Viewing the queue
The queue can be viewed and managed by launching from the Dashboard. Depending on the venue, the kitchen may want visibility of the queue, or if not, then it is useful for wait staff or venue managers to review the status of orders.
The queue is displayed as a regular KDS, with different controls.
In most cases the queue will not show any dockets unless it changes to "auto" mode and starts throttling dockets.
The state of the queue can be manually changed using the footer buttons.
When blocked, the queue will automatically go into "auto" mode after a configured timeout.
Bumped dockets will print. Printed dockets cannot be recalled, however dockets can still be manually placed on hold and recalled later. Dockets that are ordered for a later pickup time will be held in the recall screen until it is time for them to print.
The kitchen can also be made aware of the queue size without needing to look at the queue screen. The current size of the queue can optionally be printed on the bottom of the docket by enabling Print Docket Queue Size.
Tuning the queue
The queue can be placed into a test mode by enabling "Use in test mode"
This will allow the queue to function, but dockets will always print immediately regardless of the state of the queue. Bumping from the queue will not print a second time.
This allows the queue to be observed during normal trade to see how the queue behaves. Tuning may need to be done if the queue excessively grows, or if the kitchen had too many dockets while there was no queuing.
After running in test mode (or live mode) for a while, a report can be generated from the printer.
This report allows the queue length and docket delays to be reviewed. It returns a week's worth of data. There is a record per docket processed through the queue.
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