There are several best practices that should be followed when maintaining both the company and store menus, once the initial Olo menu has been built out. The best practices outlined below are especially applicable if you are a brand that carries out multiple menu changes throughout a year.
Best Practices to Follow When Adding Products
- Confirm that POS IDs are consistent across all store databases.
You must make sure that each store's POS database has been updated with the POS IDs of the items/modifiers you intend to add to each store's Olo menu through Dashboard.
- Make sure that POS mapping has been assigned to each item and modifier within the Olo Company Menu.
Any item/modifier that needs to be live on a store menu must be mapped to an entity type/ID. Items/modifiers that are live on a store menu with no mapping set will cause order failures. This section lists out mapping instructions for various POS types. If you would like mapping instructions for a POS type that is currently not listed in the article, reach out to us.
- Update each store's POS database with relevant pricing.
Pricing will pull directly from each store's POS, and therefore pricing should be up to date within the database of each store. Since pricing is tied to the POS ID of an item/modifier, we can pull varying prices for a specific item/modifier between stores. For example, POS ID 123 refers to a "Hamburger". Store A prices this "Hamburger" (or POS ID 123) at $6 and store B prices it at $5.50. Therefore, the price of $6 will show on the menu of store A and the price of $5.50 will show on the menu of store B.
- Add the products/modifiers to the demo vendor for testing (prior to adding to live stores).
Products/modifiers that need to be added to live locations should first be added to the demo vendor for testing, before being added to live locations. Refer to this article for instructions on adding items to the demo vendor. Once you add the products to the demo vendor, you can also access the front end menu to see how the products will be displayed to the customer.
- Run the price updater for the demo vendor.
Olo automatically runs the price updater for all POS integrated stores twice a day at 8:30am & 3:30pm EST.
But, if items were added to the demo vendor outside of these hours, you can run a manual price update. Refer to this article for instructions on running a price update for a specific vendor.
- Check for mismatches at the demo vendor and correct them.
When the price updater runs, any mismatches within the store menu will show up below the menu update information.
It is extremely important that mismatches are corrected. If not, they will lead to failed orders and overall negative customer experience. There are multiple factors that cause mismatches. This article on fixing mismatches will guide you through their causes and steps you can take to resolve all menu mismatches.
- Use the basket Tester tool and test out the entire new menu.
Once menu mismatches have been resolved, utilize the basket tester to test out the entire new menu. This will ensure that products and their associated modifiers have been mapped correctly within the Olo menu and that if an order were to be placed for an item, it would get sent down to the POS successfully. The article on basket testing has further details on running basket tests for items and how you can troubleshoot invalid basket tests.
Once the steps above have been completed, you can;
- Add menu items to the relevant stores
- Run price updates across all locations
- Check the mismatch report & correct any mismatches
Best Practices to Follow When Removing Products
- Use the "86'ing" feature if removing products/modifiers for a short period of time.
Removing categories, products, and modifiers off of a store menu will cause customers saved favorites and past orders to be disabled, as indicated by the warning you receive when attempting to do so. Removing will also erase any category, product, and modifier level settings (eg: availability settings) that may have been configured, and erase pricing as well.
Therefore, if you are looking to remove items and modifiers off of the store menu for a short period of time, it may be best to 86 them instead, in order to save customers saved orders as well as configured settings. This article gives more detail on the 86'ing feature within Store Menu Admin.
If you are integrated to Toast, Brink, CBS Northstar, Focus, InfoGenesis, Microsale, Revel, MICROS 9700, Simphony, or if your brand is utilizing an Olo Cloud integration, items and modifiers can be 86'd within the Olo store menu. For certain POS systems, the Olo menu will respect item availability that has been indicated within the POS. The articles on Micros, Silver/Silver Pro, & Treatware go over how 86'ing works with each of those POS systems. If you are unable to locate an article on 86'ing that is related to the POS that your stores are integrated to, reach out to us in order to gain further information!
- Move items to a restricted category within the company menu, if they will be added back to store menus at a later time.
If the items that have been removed from a store menu will be used again in the future, the items could be moved to a category that is restricted to just the demo vendor. Or if you removed an entire category of items, that category could be restricted to the demo vendor. Restricting a category to the demo vendor will ensure that the product(s) or category will not be accidentally added back to the menu of a live location. Category restrictions need to be managed within the company menu, and this article will walk you through the steps of restricting a category.
Other Best Practices
- Use the internal description field for labeling.
When building out categories, menu items, and modifier groups, utilize the internal description fields as much as possible. Utilizing this field will make the menu management process so much easier. For example, if a category contains items pertaining to the summer menu, you could add "(Summer)" to the internal description of the category. This way, you are able to easily distinguish between specialized categories, products, and modifiers. Refer to this article for more information on ways you can use internal names/internal descriptions, and how they can be updated.
- Duplicate menu items and modifier groups easily.
If the same item needs to be available within multiple categories, you could create a copy of the existing item and assign it to whichever category it needs to live under. This article on duplicating existing products will walk you through the steps of creating copies of existing products. This way, you do not need to build a product from scratch, especially if it already exists within the menu. In the same way, you can create duplicates of existing modifier groups as well. Refer to this article on duplicating modifier groups for instructions.
- Lock products/modifiers that should be available within all store menus.
In some cases, you may want to restrict stores from being able to remove certain items and modifiers off of their Olo menu. It may be that there are signature products on the menu that should be offered at all times, or you may want to prevent store level settings from being reset every time a store removes a product and adds it back on to the menu. Whatever the reason may be, this article will show you how you can "lock" a product/modifier group/modifier choice, so that stores are only able to 86 them if they need to be taken off the menu.
- Utilize the menu copy tool, for copying over store level menus.
The menu copy tool will assist with duplicating the menu of an existing store onto a new store. This tool will copy over active products, modifiers, menu settings, and pricing from the existing menu over to the new menu. In order to use this tool, the store menu you are copying to should not have any items or categories that are active. To learn more about utilizing the menu copy tool, refer to this article.
- Use the "Search Menus" tool within Store Menu Admin
The "Search Menus" tool can be used for searching through a store menu for products, modifier groups, and modifier choices to then easily perform functions such as adding, removing, and 86'ing. Refer to this article to learn more about using this tool.
- Use the Menu Audit Log to audit menu changes
Want to see a full history of menu updates that have taken place across the brand? Refer to the menu audit log with the Olo Dashboard to determine which users have been making changes, which date and time the changes took place, etc.
If you are a brand with non-POS integrated stores as well, refer to this article for additional best practices to follow.