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Ways to Encourage Customers to Order Food with Alcohol


If you offer alcohol on your Olo menu and are looking for ways to encourage customers to order food items along with the purchase of an alcoholic beverage, we've listed a few methods that you could use. Prior to getting started, please read this article to understand Olo's position on alcohol sales.

 

Method 1: Add metadata to validate that customers are ordering non-alcoholic items with the purchase of alcoholic beverages.

With the use of metadata and basket logic, it is possible to validate whether a basket containing alcohol contains at least one non-alcoholic item. You can add a metadata tag at the category level to indicate that a category contains alcoholic beverages. It is recommended that categories that are designated as “alcohol” exclusively contain alcohol products so that the basket requirement validation is performed correctly. It is important to call out that a customer could add an item to their cart from a beverages category, as an example, and order just a drink along with their alcohol purchase, instead of ordering a food item. In such a case, the onus would be on the brand or the marketplace to either cancel the order or reach out to the customer to modify the order so that it is in compliance with relevant laws.

Note: If you are on Rails, we highly recommend using this method, since the metadata tag helps the Rails partners validate that alcohol is part of the order, and thereby help ensure compliance with relevant laws.

Steps to add metadata

  1. Log in to the Dashboard at https://my.olo.com

  2. Click on the Menus tab on the left side of the screen.



  3. Select Manage Company Menu.

  4. Navigate to the alcohol category and click on the metadata tag.

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  5. Click on the + Add Metadata option and input the following, exactly as listed below, into the two fields that appear

    Key: item-type        Value: alcohol

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    IMPORTANT: The key-value pairing should ONLY be used at the category-level and not at the product-level. Using the key-value pairing of item-type: alcohol at the product-level is irrelevant.

    IMPORTANT: The key-value pairing is case-sensitive and must be in lowercase. Using ‘Item-type’ instead of ‘item-type’ won’t work, and therefore won’t trigger basket validation and won’t include label name = “alcohol” in Menu Exports to Rails partners.

    Correct format: item-type   alcohol         Wrong: Item-type   Alcohol

  6. Hit Save at the bottom of the screen and give a few minutes for the validation to go into effect.

If a customer attempts to just order alcohol without any non-alcoholic items in their cart, they will be presented with the following message:

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Method 2: Present the alcoholic beverage options as modifiers to the food items.

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You can add alcoholic beverages as modifiers to food items, so that customers would only be able to order the alcohol when they order a food item, and this way, you can also control the number of alcoholic beverages that are ordered per food item. You could set up a modifier group that lists out each of the alcoholic beverages that a customer can select. Refer to this article, for instructions on setting up a modifier group within the Company Menu, and this article on adding a modifier group to the Store Menu once the set up within the Company Menu is complete.

For brands that are POS integrated, you may or may not be able to reuse a single alcoholic beverage modifier between all of the food items. Refer to the relevant POS article listed in this section to understand how you may need to set up the modifier group based on the POS your stores are integrated to.

Note: We do not recommend this set up for brands that are on Rails, since this method does not help the Rails partners validate that alcohol is included in the order. If you are on Rails, we highly recommend the first method listed above (using metadata), since the metadata helps the Rails partners validate that alcohol is part of the order, and thereby help ensure compliance with relevant laws.

 

Method 3: Use descriptions to ask customers to order food items with their alcohol purchase.

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Both the category and product descriptions can be used to let customers know that they should order a food item with the purchase of alcohol. It would be best to utilize the metadata listed in point 1 above, and enter category and product level descriptions as well, so that you are informing your customers that they should add some food to their cart, and potentially prevent customers from ordering just non-alcoholic beverages with alcoholic beverages.  Both the category and product description can be updated within the Company Menu. Refer to this article for instructions on updating the descriptions.

Note: If you are on Rails, we highly suggest that you pair this method with the metadata setup listed in the first method above, since the metadata helps the Rails partners validate that alcohol is part of the order, and thereby help ensure compliance with relevant laws.

 

Method 4: Upsell food items

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Another way of prompting customers to select a food item to add to their alcohol purchase is by using upsells. When customers hit "proceed to checkout", they will be presented with upsell items. It is important to callout however, that the upsell tool cannot be used to force a customer to make a selection, the customer could close out the upsell box and just proceed with placing their order for an alcoholic beverage (however, if you have metadata listed in step 1 above applied to your alcohol category, customers would not be able to proceed to checkout without any non-alcoholic items in their cart). Refer to this article if you would like to learn more about upsells, and if you would like to implement upsells within your menu.

Note: We do not recommend this set up for brands that are on Rails, since this method does not help the Rails partners validate that alcohol is included in the order. If you are on Rails, we highly recommend the first method listed above, since the metadata helps the Rails partners validate that alcohol is part of the order, and thereby help ensure compliance with relevant laws.

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