Rails Hours gives brands more control over their Rails orders by allowing those orders to have a distinct set of operating hours. Brands can now set different hours for their Rails orders versus their Curbside, Dispatch, direct/business/pickup, etc. orders.
There are three main components to Rails Hours (all accessible via the Olo Dashboard):
- Enabling Rails Hours
- Creating/managing Rails Hours
- Creating/managing Rails Hour Overrides
Once the feature is enabled at the brand level, Store Managers will need to set distinct Rails Hours for their stores.
Important: Rails Hours are not an extension of Business Hours, but a completely distinct set of hours for your Rails orders (only). If set & enabled, Rails Hours will cause your Marketplace orders to follow different hours from your other hours.
1: Enabling Rails Hours
Brand Managers with the "Rails Settings" permission will be able to enable and disable Rails Hours via the Dashboard.
On your Dashboard, select Brand in the side navigation to expand the options, then select Brand Settings. On the Brand Settings page, select the Rails Settings tab. Toggle Enable Rails Hours Feature and select Confirm to enable/disable the change.
Once Rails Hours are enabled at the brand-level, Dashboard managers will see a new Rails Hours tab on the Store Hours page (of all their vendors), where they’ll be able to create and manage hours, shown in the next section.
Note: Below the Rails Hours toggle, you'll see a Certified Rails Partners section with toggles for several third-party Rails-certified partners on the Olo platform. You can toggle the partners, that your brand has a relationship with, to appear elsewhere in the Dashboard experience. However, these toggles are irrelevant for this Rails Hours feature.
2: Creating/Managing Rails Hours
To create/manage Rails Hours, go to Store Hours under the Settings tab and select the store(s) you’d like to modify. Then, navigate to the Rails Hours tab from the Store Hours page.
Note: Rails Hours are “empty” when first enabled. Users must add distinct hours, for every day and hour of Rails operation, in order for Rails orders to follow these hours. Rails orders will follow Business Hours if Rails Hours are empty.
From the Rails Hours tab, users can either copy over existing business hours and make edits, or enter hours from scratch (stores with Dispatch hours will have a Copy from Dispatch Hours button available, as well).
- If the Rails Hours feature is enabled but hours have not been created, the Rails orders for that store will follow Business hours until new Rails Hours are created/added.
- Full Business Hours for Rails orders should be set in the Rails Hours tab. For example, if you create hours for a single day, this will indicate to your marketplaces that you are only available for that one day created.
- Once hours are set, we will immediately notify your marketplace partners that new hours exist. These updates usually occur very quickly, but sometimes may take up to an hour or two to be made on the marketplace side.
- From a back-end technical standpoint, Olo is translating the Rails hours into the Pickup hours that Marketplaces currently utilize. That way, there is nothing new that the marketplaces need to do to start picking up the new hours.
If the store wants to revert back to Business Hours, they will have to remove every Rails Hours entry. When Rails Hours is empty, all Rails orders will default back to Business Hours.
3: Creating/Managing Rails Hour Overrides
Dashboard managers are able to add Rails Hour overrides as long as there are existing Rails Hours.
By clicking the + Add Rails Hour Override button in the Rails Hours tab, managers can set their desired override hours.
Dashboard Managers can click the Edit button to edit the overrides or click the Remove button to remove the overrides altogether.
Important Call Outs
- Rails Hour Overrides will only apply to Rails Hours and will not be copied to any other hours collection. If all Rails Hours are removed, then Rails Hours Overrides will be removed as well.
- Ex: If I add overrides to my Rails Hours, then those overrides will only apply to my Rails orders. If I then decide to get rid of my distinct Rails hours (and thus, have my Rails orders follow Business Hours), then the overrides that I had set for Rails Hours will be removed as well.
- If Rails Hours are empty, and new Rails Hours are added (either via copying or new creation), and there are existing Business Hour Overrides for the store, then those existing Business Hour Overrides will still apply to the new Rails Hours but will not be visible in the Rails Hours tab.
- If this poses an issue, we have a workaround: After creating your Rails Hours, add a Rails Hour Override and then remove it. That will prevent any pre-existing Business Hour Overrides from applying to your Rails Hours.
- When Rails Hours is enabled, any newly created Business Hour Overrides will also be copied over as Rails Hour Overrides. However, once copied, these new overrides will need to be managed separately from the Business Hour Overrides.
- Ex: If I have both a set of Business Hours and Rails Hours active at my store, and I decide to add a Business Hour override because of a flooded kitchen, then this override will also be copied over and applied to my Rails Hours. After copying, if I decided to edit the original Business Hour Override, then the changes will only be applied to the override in Business Hours, NOT Rails Hours.
- Online Overrides will apply to Rails Hours, but will not be visible in the Rails Hours tab. They are, however, visible in the Business Hours tab.
- Ex: If I have both a set of Business Hours and Rails Hours active at my store, and I decide to add an Online Hour override because it’s Mother’s Day and I want to prioritize in-store orders. This Online override will only appear in the Business Hours tab, but will still be applicable to my Rails orders.
- Rails Hours and Rails Hours Overrides will NOT affect Dispatch hours.
- Rails Hours, just like your other hours, will be affected by your stores' configuration for "Orders At Closing" feature.
- Certain Rails Marketplaces apply a closing time buffer by default. Please be aware that your Rails Hours will continue to be affected if you are on a marketplace that utilizes closing time buffers.
Q: Can Rails Hours extend past business hours? Or start earlier than business hours?
- A: Yes! Rails hours are customizable and can be set to be shorter than business hours or longer than business hours.
Q: What happens if a brand enables Rails Hours, but their store(s) don’t set up any Rails Hours?
- A: Olo will continue sending the Business Hours to our marketplaces until Rails Hours are added.
Q: What happens if a store only adds Rails Hours for a single day of the week?
- A: Then that will be the only day that the store will be able to accept Rails marketplace orders. The store will appear as closed for the remaining six days. If you want to have distinct hours for Rails orders for every day of the week, it’s important to have Rails Hours setup for every day.
Q: How will the marketplaces be aware that there are Rails Hours?
- A: There is no work needed on the marketplace’s side to support Rails Hours (as long as they read Olo hours via our MES service). Olo will pass the hours information through the vendor menu files (via our MES service) as “pickup” hours. Marketplaces shouldn’t see anything different and will continue leveraging the pickup handoff mode.
Q: Which marketplaces support this feature?
- A: All marketplaces can support this feature as long as they pull hours from MES files.
Q: Can I add unique Rails Hours for different marketplaces (i.e. DD has longer hours than PM)
- A: Currently, marketplace-specific hours are not supported with this feature. Rails Hours will apply to all Rails marketplace orders. Ex: If a vendor has Rails Hours enabled and is on Postmates, DoorDash and Delivery.com, then their Rails hours will be the same for all three marketplaces.
Q: My brand uses Menu Sync/Menu Import Service, can I utilize this Rails Hours feature?
- A: Unfortunately no. However, we do hope to add support for Menu Sync/MIS brands in the future.