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Set Up Time-Based Categories in Square Online

Time-based categories work with your pickup and delivery hours and allow you to limit the availability of items to specific days and times. Items placed in a time-based category can only be purchased during the timeframes you specify combined with any applicable prep times and delivery estimate settings.

Set Up Time-based Categories

From your Square Online Overview page, go to Items > Categories. Select an existing category to edit or click the “Add Category” button to create a new one.

Click “Choose items” to select which items to include in the category, then scroll down to the Availability section.


Select the option for only certain days and times, then use the checkboxes to choose which days of the week these items are available. For each selected day, you can enter multiple timeframes by clicking the plus sign and entering the hours. Click Save to apply your changes when you’re finished.


Time-based categories display a clock icon on the Categories page of your Square Online Overview page. To edit the settings or add and remove items, click on the category name. To delete a category, select the checkbox and click the delete button.

You can also create subcategories with time-based settings. Subcategories inherit the settings from the parent category. For example, you might have a Lunch category that runs every day from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Within the Lunch category are subcategories for salads, sandwiches and soups, which are also available every day from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.


To make a subcategory, drag and drop it below and to the right of the parent category. Subcategories appear slightly indented below the parent category. You can collapse the list by clicking on the arrow icon.

Ordering from Time-based Categories

After selecting a location, customers visiting your online store are shown available items by default. Customers can use the 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 delivery hours, items with fulfillment set to shipping, non-physical items (e.g. events, memberships, etc.) and items that are in a time-based category if the current day and time falls within the specified hours.

“All items” will display every item regardless of pickup and 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 fulfillment within the selected location’s pickup and delivery hours, including prep time and delivery estimates. Customers can purchase items in a time-based category until one minute before the scheduled end time. So if you have a category that’s available from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, 1:59 PM is the latest that an order could be placed, assuming it can be prepared and fulfilled within your pickup and 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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