Olo offers three throttling strategies to help brands manage the volume of orders hitting your restaurants. Please note that a throttling strategy is set at the brand/channel level so all locations must use the same strategy. Each individual location, however, can determine if they want to activate throttling at all.
Available Throttling Strategies
The most precise method of managing the flow of orders is to leverage Orders-in-Progress limits, which allow stores to define the maximum number of online orders being prepared at the same time. Orders placed when the restaurant has reached its limit are held and fired when we expect in-progress orders to be completed, resulting in a more consistent flow of orders. When placing an order guests are shown a lead time quote that anticipates added time incurred because of capacity limitations. You can read more about In-Progress Order Limits here.
Make Time Minutes Per Period
Every order has a make time associated with it depending on the "Total Make Time" strategy based on the items in the customer's cart. This throttling strategy evaluates the total make time of all orders in a 15-minute period and allows restaurants to cap the total number of make time minutes for all orders in that slot. The max amount of minutes that are accepted for each 15-minute slot are configurable by location. You can read more about Make Time Minutes Per Period here.
Orders Per Window
Through the Orders Per Window strategy, a location can set the number of orders that they will accept per 15-minute time slot. Unlike the Make Time Minutes Per Period strategy, this strategy only looks at the number of orders submitted during a certain timeframe, it does not limit orders based on size. It does, however, allow a location to limit the number of orders that a Rails Marketplace is able to submit during a 15 minute period. You can read more about Orders Per Window here.
Q: Which strategy is right for my brand?
A: Our most commonly used strategy is the Make Time Minutes Per Period strategy as it should weigh larger orders heavier than smaller ones since the larger orders should have a larger make time. The Orders Per Window strategy appeals to some brands because it gives more control over how many Rails marketplace orders can be accepted in any given 15-minute time slot. Brands seeking a more consistent flow of orders to the kitchen may want to adopt In-Progress Order Limits, which observes concurrent order preparation and queues orders for firing when the restaurant has reached its capacity. We recommend reading the linked articles above to learn more about these strategies and always feel free to reach out to our team if any questions arise.
Q: My brand is live with throttling. Are there any reports to help me analyze how it has been performing?
A: A store with the Make Time Minutes Per Period strategy enabled will see order throttling reports available in the Reports section of the dashboard and the throttling matrix page. This report will show all time slots over the dates selected, per store, showing per time slot number of closed orders, used preparation minutes, and max preparation minutes. It will only contain data if Throttling has been enabled at the store(s).
You may notice that a given time slot's "used preparation minutes" exceeds the max minutes set for a time slot. This is to be expected because orders are accepted until the max minutes are exceeded. For example, if a max is set to 150 minutes and 140 minutes have already been used, an order with 20 minutes of make time will be accepted because the 150-minute max has not yet been exceeded. Once it is surpassed, the time slot will close. Once you activate throttling, review these reports frequently to increase or decrease the max set in the throttling matrix based on store operations feedback.
Q: How do I check which throttling strategy is live at my brand?
A: Contact us and we'll be happy to tell you what, if any, throttling strategy is set for your brand.
Q: I don't have a throttling strategy set. How do I enable throttling for my brand?
A: Reach out to your CSM and they'll be able to discuss with you further and help get your desired strategy implemented.
Q: I also have kiosk orders flowing through Olo. Will in-store kiosk users be throttled?
A: Kiosk orders are not throttled. As long as your kiosk project is classified as a "Kiosk" client platform in our developer portal, orders placed at your kiosks will not be throttled. They will be accepted even if the time slot is already full as these are mostly in-store orders.