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Menu Best Practices for POS Integrated Brands Live on Rails


There are several best practices that should be followed when maintaining both the Olo company and store menus, to ensure that changes/updates to either of the menus do not lead to negative impacts on the Rails partner menus, that then result in order failures or an overall negative customer experience.




Best Practices to Follow When Adding Products

  • Avoid complex menu setups
    We highly recommend setting up menu items and relevant modifiers in the simplest manner possible, since certain menu features that are available for your branded ordering channels do not translate well into Rails partner menus. When building out menu items/modifiers that will be offered on Rails partner menus, you should avoid using too many advanced/complex features such as modifier quantitiesfolder/tab view, and input view.

  • Use Menu Visibility Filters to filter out items/modifiers based on the ordering platform
    Menu Visibility Filters allow a brand to specify the availability of categories, products, and modifiers based on the ordering platform. As an example, if you are adding categories, products, and modifiers that should not be offered on Rails marketplaces, you can filter them out from the marketplaces. The same applies if you are adding categories, products, and modifiers that are only applicable to the Rails marketplaces -- you would just filter them out of the branded ordering channels. This article will provide you with additional information on the filters and show you how you can apply them.


    An important thing to note when building out categories, items, or modifier groups that are either specific to Rails or specific to your branded ordering channels is that you should utilize the internal description fields to label categories, products, and modifiers accordingly. Utilizing this field will make the menu management process easier. For example, if a category only contains items pertaining to the Rails menu, you could add "(Rails)" to the internal description of the category. Refer to this article for instructions on updating the internal names/descriptions at the category, product, and modifier group level.


  • 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 Rails menu, in order to prevent order failures due to mismatched items.

  • 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 Rails menu must be mapped to an entity type/ID. Having items/modifiers that are live on a Rails menu with no mapping set will lead to 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 this section, reach out to us.

  • Update each store's POS database with relevant pricing
    Olo pulls prices from each store's POS, and when the Olo price updater runs at 8:30am & 3:30pm EST (or when you run a manual price update), we notify the marketplaces to re-pull menus from Olo, so that prices are up to date on the marketplace sites as well. Pricing should be up to date within the database of each store so that the correct price is sent to the Rails partners. 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.

    If you would like to markup prices for Rails marketplaces, you can utilize the Rails Pricing Markup Tool. Refer to this article to learn more about this tool.

  • Set the “$0.00 Warning in the Store Menu” option for items and modifiers that should be priced
    Within the company menu, you can indicate whether a product or modifier should be allowed to have a $0.00 price on the online menu by selecting the “$0.00 Warning in the Store Menu” option at both the product and modifier level.


    If a product or modifier has the “$0.00 Warning in the Store Menu” box checked and has a $0.00 price within a store menu, a warning icon will appear next to the product/modifier within the store menu. Also, Olo’s filtering logic will remove the corresponding product or modifier from being sent to the Rails marketplaces who are pulling menus from Olo using the Vendor Export powered by the Menu Export Service. This article will provide additional guidance on this feature.

  • 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 Rails locations should first be added to the demo vendor within the Olo store menu, so that testing can take place, prior to the items/modifiers being added to live locations. Refer to this article for instructions on adding items to the demo vendor.

  • Run the price updater for the demo vendor
    Olo runs an automatic price update for all POS integrated stores twice a day, at 8:30am & 3:30pm EST. However, 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 create an 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 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 help 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 will result in a successful order. To basket test a menu being used by a Rails partner, update the Basket from External Ordering Partners (EOP)? field to Yes within the basket tester tool. 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 should;


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 on your branded ordering channels, as indicated by the warning you receive when attempting to do so. Removing will also erase any category, product, and modifier level settings that may have been configured within the Olo store menu.


    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 on your branded ordering channels. This article gives more detail on the 86'ing feature within Store Menu Admin. When an item or modifier is 86'd within the Olo menu, Rails partners will be notified, so that the items and modifiers can be 86'd on the Rails menus as well.

  • Remove items/modifiers that need to be taken off of the menu for longer periods
    If your goal is to remove an item/modifier completely from your menu, this article will provide guidance on removing items and this article will provide guidance on removing modifiers from your store menu. Keep in mind that removing categories, products, and modifiers off of a store menu will not only cause customer saved favorites and past orders to be disabled on your branded ordering channels, but it will also erase any category, product, and modifier level settings that may have been configured within the Olo store menu. Once a category, product, or modifier is added back to the Olo store menu, you will need to make sure that any applicable settings, especially pricing, is updated. Since pricing pulls from the POS database, make sure to run a price update within the Olo Dashboard.

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