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Throttling Strategy: Make Time Minutes Per Period


Overview

To prevent too many orders from coming in at once, a store can set a maximum amount of “Total Make Time” allowed per 15 minutes. For example, from 12:00­ - 12:15 pm a store can say they accept a maximum of 100 total minutes for that time slot. Once the 100 minutes of make time is exceeded, that time slot will not accept any future orders. 

The “Total Make Time” is a sum of order lead time estimates assigned to the 15 minute period. For example, if there are 3 orders placed that fall into the 12:00 - 12:15 pm time slot, one with a make time of 50 minutes, one with a make time of 43 minutes and one with a make time of 12 minutes, the total make time of that slot would be 103 minutes and that slot would no longer accept any other orders. 

With this strategy, each store can set their own max time minutes for each 15 minute time slot based on the day of the week. The hours displayed are based on the the store's hour of operation.

If, for example, Friday evenings are especially busy for a particular store, they can reduce the maximum make time for those specific Friday night time slots to limit the number of online orders that are accepted.  Below is an example of what would show in the Olo Dashboard:

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When enabling this throttling strategy for the first time, you will also need to provide your CSM with a default max make time minutes. This can be changed afterwards but is necessary to use as the default max for all time slots. In the screenshot above, for example, the default was 500 minutes and the brand decided to reduce the max make time minutes to 150 for the lunch rush at this store.  

Not sure what values to use? If you are turning on throttling for the first time and you aren't sure just how many make time minutes you can accept for a 15 minute time slot, we recommend turning on throttling at the store and setting the make time max to something high that wouldn't be exceeded (e.g. 2000 minutes) for each time slot. By doing this, you can activate throttling without having an impact on customers and can start collecting valuable data as to how many make time minutes were actually used in each time slot. You can only pull this report once throttling is activated. If you let throttling run for a week or two and you keep track of when a store felt overwhelmed with orders, you should have enough data to adjust the make time minutes to the right level for you and your store. 

What's the customer experience like? 

ASAP Orders: Let's say the 1:00 - 1:15 pm time slot is full and a customer attempts to place an order at 12:48 pm with 16 minutes of make time for ASAP, which would normally result in a 1:04 pm pickup. Since that time slot is full, a message would appear when the customer attempted to proceed to checkout saying "{StoreName} is experiencing high order volume and cannot immediately start your order." Please note that this text is configurable. If you'd like to adjust the message, please reach out to your CSM and we'll be happy to adjust. Once the customer sees the message, they could then select a later time and proceed to checkout again. 

Note: We have recently released an enhancement that will allow a brand to automatically push an ASAP order into the next available time slot, if there is one available, rather than asking the customer to select another time. Reach out to your CSM for more information! 

Later Orders: If a customer is placing an order for lunch tomorrow but their desired time slot of 1:00 pm is full, they will see a message saying "{StoreName} is experiencing high order volume and cannot prepare your order for {DesiredTimeSlot}." Please note that this text is configurable. If you'd like to adjust the message, please reach out to your CSM and we'll be happy to adjust. Once the customer sees the message, they can then select a different time slot and attempt to proceed to checkout again. 

How do I enable this throttling strategy?

All throttling strategies need to be set at the brand/channel level, meaning that every store within a brand must share the same throttling strategy. They do not, however, all need to have throttling enabled as you may only want to throttle at some stores and not at others. If you're ready to move forward with Make Time Minutes Per Period, reach out to your CSM and provide them with a default max make time minutes value to use. This default can be overridden by each store, but a default is required. We recommend using a higher value that wouldn't necessarily cause orders to be throttled. That way you can allow orders to come in and can reduce only busy time slots. 

Once the channel level strategy is set, your CSM will ensure the throttling settings are visible in the Dashboard for a particular store (or for all stores). Once that is enabled, you will be able to access a store's throttling matrix by going to Settings --> Store Settings --> Select Store --> Order Throttling. You can then turn on order throttling and adjust the matrix as needed. 

 

Not sure if this is the right throttling strategy for your brand? Visit our Throttling Strategies Overview article to read about some of the other strategies we offer. 

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