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Set Up Time-Based Categories in Square Online

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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 adding items and categories to Square Online for more information on site categories.

Set Up Time-Based Categories

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To set up time-based categories in Square Online:

  1. From your Square Online Overview page, go to Items > Site Categories.

  2. Select an existing category to edit it or Add Category to create a new one.

  3. Add a category title and image, and choose the items to include in the category.

  4. Under Availability, select the Only 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 the hours.

  5. Complete all other fields and select Save when finished.

Time-based categories display a clock icon on the Site Categories page. 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 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Within the Breakfast category are subcategories for Breakfast Drinks and Breakfast Combos, which are also available every day from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Customer Experience

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After selecting a location, customers visiting your website are shown available items by default. Customers can use the drop-down menu on your Order Online ordering 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 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., 9:59 a.m. 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 ordering 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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