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Set up time-based categories for Square Online

Note: Enable time-based categories by upgrading your Square Online subscription.

With Square Online, you can create a category that's time-based to support menu items that are only available during certain times of the day (think breakfast, lunch, weekends, etc.). These time-based categories also work with your pickup and local delivery hours, which means customers can only purchase items during the times you specify (subject to any applicable prep times and local delivery estimate settings).

Note: In order to set up time-based categories, be sure you’re using the Order Online ordering page template, and have already set up pickup and local delivery from your fulfilment settings.

Learn more about creating and managing item categories.

Set up time-based categories


To set up time-based categories for Square Online:

  1. From your Square Item Library, go to Categories to select an existing category or create a new one.

  2. Under Availability, select the Only during certain days and times option and use the checkboxes to choose which days of the week these items are available. For each selected day, you can also enter multiple timeframes by selecting + and entering in the hours.

  3. Click Save when finished.

You can edit the settings, add and remove items or delete the category at any time.

Create a time-based subcategory

You can also create time-based subcategories. Subcategories inherit the time-based settings from the parent category. For example, you might have a Breakfast category that runs every day from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm. Within the Breakfast category are subcategories for Breakfast Drinks and Breakfast Combos, which are also available every day from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm.

Customer experience


After selecting a location on your live website, customers are shown available items by default. Customers can use the dropdown menu on your Order Online page to switch between available items and all items.

  • Available items includes any item in a category that’s set to be available during all pickup and local delivery hours, items with fulfilment set to shipping, non-physical items (e.g. events, memberships, etc.), and items that are in a time-based category when the current day and time falls within the specified hours.

  • All items will display every item regardless of pickup and local delivery hours, or time-based category settings.

To be eligible for purchase, items in a time-based category must be ordered with enough time to allow for fulfilment within the selected location’s pickup and local delivery hours, including prep time and local delivery estimates. Customers can purchase items in a time-based category until one minute before the scheduled end time. For example, if you have a category that’s available from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm, 12:59 pm is the latest that an order could be placed, assuming it can be prepared and fulfilled within your pickup and local delivery hours.

Items in a time-based category will show the hours of availability on the Order Online page. When viewing an item outside of the available hours, the add to cart button is disabled and shows the hours of availability instead.

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