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Lead Time Strategies vs. Order Throttling Strategies

The purpose of this article is to help your understanding on Lead Time Strategies, Order Throttling Strategies and how one informs the other, as well as the the associated features available. 


Lead Time Strategies:

As noted in this article Lead Time Strategies are set up for the purpose of determining how much time is needed to fulfill an order. When onboarding with Olo - your brand will need to select a Lead Time Strategy. If your brand is already onboarded with Olo - your lead time strategy has been determined. If at a later date your brand would like to adjust your Lead Time Strategy, that is an option available to you and should be discussed directly with your Customer Success Manager before making any adjustments. There are two different types of Lead Time Strategies, Order Make Time and Quote Time:

  • Order Make Times: Order Make Times impact two areas in particular: Determining the order handoff time shown to the guest at checkout and determining when the order fires to the Point of Sale to begin order fulfillment, if a brand is using the Olo scheduler to hold on to scheduled orders before firing them to the store. Depending on the Order Make Time Strategy used, lead time for an order could increase as more items are added to the customer’s basket (this is available for the Estimated Make Time strategy). There are three Order Make Time options to choose from. With each Order Make Time option, you will be setting up the make times by menu category in your Olo Company Menu
    1. Estimated Make Time
    2. Fixed Make Time
    3. Catering Make Time

Lead Time Extension Tool: Order Make Times support a particular feature called Lead Time Extension, which will allow you to temporarily adjust order make time estimates provided to guests during a particular time period. This is a great feature to use during busy time periods where you want to provide the guest a more realistic estimated handoff time. We recommend reviewing this article further to get a better understanding of Lead Time Extension. 


  • Quote Time: Quote Time impacts the same to areas as the Order Make Time options. The main difference is that with Quote Time, you are showing the customer the same time estimate for an order no matter how large or small the order. This strategy is not set up in your Olo company menu, Quote Time can be set up in your store settings by using the Quote Time Schedule. Similar to the Lead Time Extension Tool, Quote Time has a tool called Quote Time Override that functions in a similar way. 


Quote Time Schedule & Quote Time Override - Similar to the Lead Time Extension tool, Quote Time Schedule and Quote Time Override can be used if you are expecting a particularly busy time period and need to increase your time estimate quoted to guests - or if you find yourself in the middle of  a very busy time period and need to immediately adjust the time estimate you are providing guests for their order to be ready. 

Order Throttling Strategies:
As noted in this article, these strategies are available if you are looking to help with controlling the volume of online orders your locations are seeing. Both strategies are measuring the volume of orders per time period. All Time Period’s are measured in 15 minute increments throughout the stores business hours. The 15 minute increment cannot be adjusted The two Order Throttling Strategies are. The two types of Order Throttling Strategies are:

  • Make Time Minutes Per Period: As mentioned in this article, this strategy allows you to be flexible with how much order volume you want to allow during particular time periods. You can adjust the particular amount of Lead Time to allow for within each time period. Any of the four Lead Time Strategies can be used with this Order Throttling Strategy. If you need to allow for more or less orders within a particular time period, Make Time Minutes per period provides that flexibility. For more details on this strategy and how it works exactly, please be sure to reference this document and this introductory video. This Order Throttling Strategy has a reporting feature available in the Olo Dashboard, which is mentioned in the above document. Also, there is an extended feature available for Make Time Minutes Period Period


ASAP Throttling - ASAP Throttling’s main goal is to allow guests to place an ASAP order during a time period that has already reached its order maximum volume. Enabling this feature will allow a guest to place their ASAP order, but before placing that order, they will see an inflated lead time for their order, providing a more realistic estimate for the guest for when their order can be handed off. Please review this document for further details on this feature. Note, this feature is only available for Make Time Minutes Per Period.


  • Orders Per Window: As mentioned in this document, this strategy is a simplified approach to Order Throttling. You will be able to set a particular maximum number of orders you want to allow for during any time period. The advantage of this Order Throttling Strategy is that you can control the maximum number of orders per ordering channel you want to allow for during any time period. 


How Lead Times and Throttling Work Together

It is important to note, that all locations need to have a Lead Time Strategy, but not all locations may need a Throttling Strategy. If your locations main issue is providing guests a realistic time that you will be able to handoff your order to the customer and your kitchen has no issues dealing with the capacity of orders you receive, then we recommend reviewing your Lead Time Strategy, or consider deploying the Lead Time Extension Tool or Quote Time Override tool to help provide realistic fulfillment time to your guests. If you have no capacity issues, there is no need to enable a Throttling Strategy. 


However, if you are seeing certain locations struggle with the number of orders they are able to handle, that is when we recommend looking into the different order throttling strategies and features we offer. The Lead Time Strategy you have in place will help you determine which Throttling Strategy works best for you. If your menu has a lot of different lead times for each product category, then maybe Make Time Minutes Per Period works best for you. If your menu has generally static lead times for your products, then Orders Per Window may be a better option for you.


Before making any Lead Time Strategy adjustments or any Order Throttling Strategy adjustments, please speak with your Deployment Manager or Customer Success Manager.



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