Allowing Substitutions for Options

Note

The substitutions option is only currently available for non-POS-integrated customers. This notice will be updated when it becomes available for POS integrations.

In some cases, you may want to allow customers to remove certain options and substitute different options, at no extra charge (if the options are the same price).  Open Dining can support this scenario through the use of default option selections and a special "Allow Substitutions" setting on menu items

To make substitutions work properly, the following configuration changes should be made:

  • The default option values should be selected

  • The default option prices should be set at full price, not $0 or free

  • The menu item price should be set at the full price, including any defaults

  • Under the Advanced Information heading, the "Allow Substitutions for Options" checkbox should be checked

When this configuration is enabled, the following aspects of option pricing change:

  • Default options become free (included in the main price)
  • If customers only remove a default option, the total price doesn't change or decrease
  • If customers remove a default option and add a different option of equal or lesser price, the total price doesn't change or decrease
  • If customers remove a default option and add a different option of greater price, the total price will increase by the difference between the two options

Note

The default options must be configured with their full pricing, and not set as free.  This may seem counterintuitive, since it may seem like the default option pricing would be added to the base price, but once substitutions are enabled, default options become free.  Setting their pricing enables Open Dining to know how much to charge for substitutions.

Note

Options cannot be exempt from substitutions. Take the following into consideration; you allow for toppings substitutions but not for Gluten-Free Crust:

  • A customer chooses a pizza that defaults to Pepperoni, but does not want Pepperoni. The price drops $1.
  • A customer wants a Gluten-Free Crust ($1) for their pizza, which is configured as an option. The price increases back to its base.

With this example, your intended results would be the item's base price + the cost of the Premium Crust. Instead, Open Dining's substitution policies are replacing the topping for the crust option.

What you need to do is not have the Gluten-Free crust as an option:

  1. Create different sizes. You can create additional sizes to indicate a different base price for the item based on what the option would have been (such as a GF-Crust size).
  2. Move these items to their own Menu Category. In our example, a "Gluten-Free Pizzas" category, where all of the base prices would already include the increase in cost for their sizes and the Gluten-Free option.

Example Configuration

Let's say we have a Sandwich with two sizes.  The Sandwich by default comes with Lettuce and Tomato, included in the base price.   Substitutions are enabled.

  • Small: $4.99
  • Large: $8.99

The following options are available with the Sandwich:

  • Lettuce
    • Selected by default
    • Worth $0.50 but included in the base price of the item
    • Price is configured as $0.50
  • Tomato
    • Selected by default
    • Worth $0.50 but included in the base price of the item
    • Price is configured as $0.50
  • Onion
    • Not selected by default
    • Worth $0.50
    • Price is configured as $0.50
  • Hot Peppers
    • Not selected by default
    • Worth $1.00
    • Price is configured as $1.00

The following scenarios illustrate how pricing would work with various customer selections:

  1. Small Sandwich with Lettuce and Tomato: $4.99
    1. This is the "default" with no changes.  The customer has not added or removed any options
    2. Although Lettuce and Tomato are configured a $0.50 each, because they are defaults and substitutions are enabled, they are included in the base price of the item
  2. Small Sandwich with Lettuce: $4.99
    1. The customer has removed Tomato, but not added a substitute
    2. The customer is still charged for the full price of the item, they do not receive a discount for removing a default
  3. Small Sandwich with Lettuce and Onion: $4.99
    1. The customer has removed Tomato and added Onion instead
    2. Because Tomato and Onion are the same price, the customer is not charged extra to substitute Onion for Tomato
  4. Small Sandwich with Lettuce, Tomato, and Onion: $5.49
    1. The customer has added Onion, but not removed any options
    2. Because no options have been removed, the customer is simply charged an extra $0.50 for Onion
  5. Small Sandwich with Lettuce and Hot Peppers: $5.49
    1. The customer has removed Tomato and added Hot Peppers instead
    2. Because Hot Peppers are more expensive than Tomatoes ($1.00 - $0.50), the customer is charged for the difference, an extra $0.50
  6. Small Sandwich with Hot Peppers: $4.99
    1. The customer has removed Lettuce and Tomato, and added Hot Peppers
    2. The customer has removed $1.00 worth of options ($0.50 for Lettuce and $0.50 for Tomato, $1.00 in total)
    3. The customer has added $1.00 worth of options ($1.00 for Hot Peppers)
    4. Because the substitutions are the same price ($1.00 removed, $1.00 added), the customer is not charged anything extra beyond the $4.99 base price

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