Pricing modifier options

This section provides information on creating and pricing modifier groups and their individual modifiers. It also describes the structure of a modifier. Understanding this structure is critical to understanding how modifier pricing behaves.

Understanding a modifier option's item reference

Modifier options are supported by an underlying menu item, called the modifier option's item reference. The underlying item may be an existing menu item, for example, a Sandwich Sides modifier option may reference a Fries menu item. The Fries menu item exists as a standalone menu item and it also functions as the item reference for a Sandwich Sides modifier option. When you create a modifier option that does not refer to an existing menu item, the Toast platform creates an underlying reference menu item for it.

When configuring a modifier option, you choose whether or not the modifier option has a cost associated with it. When a modifier option is based on an existing menu item, you can choose to use the price of the underlying menu item as the price of the modifier option, or you can override that price with a price that is specific to the modifier option. For modifier options that are not based on existing menu items, the price you specify for the modifier option becomes the price of the underlying menu item.

The Modifiers grid on a modifier group's details page gives you access to the item references for your modifier options. Hover the cursor over a row in the grid to see the Edit Item icon (arrow) for a modifier option. Click this icon to view the details page for the modifier option's item reference.

If you need to change the menu item that a modifier option references, you can click the name of the modifier option in this grid to open the modifier option's details page, and then click the Change Item button. Click the Edit Item button to view the details page for the modifier option's item reference.

Approaches to creating modifier options and their pricing methods

There are multiple approaches to creating modifier options and the approach you take determines the methods that are available for pricing your modifiers. You can create modifier options that are based on an existing menu group or existing menu items, or you can manually create standalone modifier options that exist solely within the context of their modifier group. This section provides more information on each approach.

Manually creating modifier options

To manually create modifier options for a modifier group, you go to the modifier group's details page and, in the Modifiers section, set the Source configuration option to Manually create modifiers. When you choose this option, a Modifiers grid appears on the page. Click the Add button to add a row to the grid where you can manually specify a modifier option for the group.

When you create a modifier group composed of manually created modifiers, the Modifier Pricing Method section on the modifier group details page displays three options for the Select where pricing is set configuration option:

  • No additional charge: The modifier options in the modifier group are free of charge.

  • Additional charge - price set by modifier group: Adds the Modifier Group Pricing section to the page, where you can specify a group-level price for the modifier options.

  • Additional charge - price set on individual modifiers: Adds the Price column to the Modifiers grid, where you can specify a constant, fixed price for each modifier option in the group. This price becomes the base price of the modifier option's underlying item reference.

See Setting the modifier pricing method for a modifier group for more information on these configuration options.

Basing a modifier group on an existing menu group

To base a modifier group on an existing menu group, you go to the modifier group's details page and, in the Modifiers section, set the Source configuration option to Use existing menu group. When you choose this option, a Source Menu Group button appears on the page where you can choose the menu group that will function as the modifier options for the modifier group.

When you create a modifier group based on an existing menu group, you must set any pricing for the modifier options at the modifier group level. Therefore, the Modifier Pricing Method section on the modifier group details page shows only two options for the Select where pricing is set configuration option:

  • No additional charge: The modifier options in the modifier group are free of charge.

  • Additional charge - price set by modifier group: Adds the Modifier Group Pricing section to the page, where you can specify a group-level price for the modifier options.

See Setting the modifier pricing method for a modifier group for more information on these configuration options.

Basing modifier options on existing menu items

To base a modifier option on an existing menu item, you start by going to a modifier group's details page and, in the Modifiers section, setting the Source configuration option to Manually create modifiers. When you choose this option, a Modifiers grid appears on the page. Click the Add button below the grid, choose New Modifier from Existing Item from the drop-down list, and then choose the menu item you want to base the modifier option on from the Select Menu Items dialog box. The Toast platform creates the new modifier option and displays the modifier option's details page. On this page, you see the Pricing section and its Override item price configuration option.

The Override item price configuration option specifies whether the price of the underlying item reference is used for the modifier option or if that price is overridden by a price specified for that modifier option. The Override item price configuration option applies only when the parent modifier group is configured to set prices on individual modifiers (the Select where pricing is set configuration option is set to Additional charge - price set on individual modifiers). If the parent modifier group either does not charge for its modifier options or sets the price of its modifier options at the group level, then the Override item price configuration option is ignored.

When you set the Override item price configuration option to Yes, a Price override configuration option appears where you can specify the override price of the modifier option. Override prices are constant prices that do not change based on other conditions, such as the time when an order is placed. The override price that you set is the price you see for the modifier option in the Modifiers grid on the parent modifier group's details page. You can edit the override price directly in the Modifiers grid, or on the modifier option details page, and it only affects the modifier option price, not the underlying item reference's price.

When you set the Override item price configuration option to No, the Modifiers grid displays the price of each modifier option's item reference. Whatever pricing strategy the item reference uses is reflected in the Modifiers grid. The grid includes an icon to identify the pricing strategy used by the item reference. For example, in the illustration below, the Steak modifier option's item reference uses the time-based pricing strategy, as indicated by the clock icon.

If the item reference uses the Base pricing strategy, you can edit that base price directly in the Modifiers grid. This changes the price for both the modifier option and the underlying item reference. If the item reference uses any other pricing strategy, you must edit the price on the details page for the item reference itself (see Understanding a modifier option's item reference for information on viewing the details page for an item reference).

Other methods for adding modifier options to a modifier group

In addition to the methods described earlier in this section, the Add drop-down list in the Modifiers grid has several other methods for adding modifier options to a modifier group. They include:

  • Add Existing Modifiers: This option allows you add an existing modifier option to your modifier group. If you choose to override the item reference price, then the price of the modifier option will be the same for all modifier groups that contain it (assuming the modifier groups are configured to set prices on individual modifiers). See Basing modifier options on existing menu items for more information on overriding item reference prices.

  • Copy Existing Modifiers: This option allows you to create a copy an existing modifier option. The new modifier option is separate and distinct from the original modifier option. Changing the price of the new modifier option has no effect on the original modifier option.

  • New Modifier from New Item: This option works the same as the Add > New Modifier from Existing Item option from a pricing perspective, however, it allows you to immediately create a new menu item on which to base your modifier option.

  • Bulk Add New Modifiers: This option allows you to bulk add modifier options by importing them from a spreadsheet. When you add modifier options in this way, you are limited to creating modifiers with base prices. Once the modifier options are imported into the Toast platform, you can go to the details pages for their item references and specify a different pricing strategy for them. If, during a bulk add, you upload an empty price for a modifier option, the Toast platform converts that price to $0.00.

Setting the modifier pricing method for a modifier group

The Modifier Pricing Method section of a modifier group details page includes the Select where pricing is set configuration option. You use this configuration option to specify how the modifier options in the group should be priced. You can choose one of these methods:

  • No additional charge

    The modifier options in a modifier group are free of charge. If you choose the No additional charge pricing method, any override prices you have set for the modifier options in the group are ignored.

  • Additional charge - price set by modifier group

    Choosing this pricing method adds the Modifier Group Pricing section to the modifier group details page. Here, you can specify a group-level pricing strategy that applies to all of the modifier options in the group. The pricing strategies for a modifier group include:

    • Fixed: All of the modifier options in the group have the same, constant price. For example, if you set a fixed price of $1 for the Toppings modifier group, all of the toppings within the group (pepperoni, sausage, onion, mushrooms, and so on) cost $1 at all times. See Fixed price for more details.

    • Sequence: The prices of the modifier options in the modifier group are determined by the sequence in which they are added to a menu item. For example, on a pizza menu item with a Toppings modifier group, the first topping is free, the second topping costs $1.00, the third topping costs $1.50, and all additional toppings cost $2.00. See Sequence price for more details.

    • Size: The cost of a modifier option changes depending on either the size of the menu item it is applied to (for example, a topping costs $0.50 on a small pizza, $1 on a medium pizza, and $1.50 on a large pizza) or the size chosen for the modifier option itself (for example, the small size of pepperoni costs $1 and the large size costs $2). See Size price for more details.

    • Size/Sequence: The cost of a modifier option depends on the size of the menu item it is applied to and the order in which it is applied to the menu item. For example, the first topping on a small pizza is $0.50 and additional toppings are $1 while the first topping on a large pizza is $1.50 and additional toppings are $2.50. See Size/sequence price for more details.

    Note

    The Sequence, Size, and Size/Sequence pricing strategies are not supported on the Toast Takeout app, Toast Order and Pay, and Toast Kiosk.

    If you have chosen to base a modifier group on an existing menu group, you must use this pricing method for that modifier group. Also, if you choose this pricing method, any override prices you have set for the modifier options in the group are ignored and the group-level price is used instead.

  • Additional charge - price set on individual modifiers

    Choosing this pricing method adds the Price column to the Modifiers grid. The behavior of the Price column depends on how you created the modifier options. If you added standalone modifier options to the modifier group (that is, modifiers that are not based on existing menu items or menu groups), you can use the Price column to quickly specify constant, fixed prices for those modifier options. If you added modifier options based on existing menu items, the behavior of the Price column depends on whether those modifier options are using the prices of their reference items or specifying their own modifier-specific prices. See Basing modifier options on existing menu items for more information.

    Choosing this pricing method also adds some configuration options necessary for substitution pricing for default modifier options and size-based pricing of modifier options (note that the substitution pricing is in limited release).

Using substitution pricing for default modifier options

Note

Substitution pricing is in limited release.

Substitution pricing allows a guest to remove one or more default modifier options from a menu item and apply the value of those options toward the purchase of one or more different modifier options. For example, a guest orders a salad that comes with chicken by default but asks to substitute salmon for the protein. The price of the chicken modifier option is $7. The price of the salmon modifier option is $9. In this case, the Toast platform calculates the difference and charges the substitution price of $2 for the salmon (not the regular price of $9).

There are two scenarios that can occur with substitution pricing:

  • If the substitution modifier options cost the same as, or less than, the default modifier options, then no price adjustments occur. The menu item costs the same as it does with the default modifiers.

  • If the substitution modifier options cost more than the default options, then the Toast platform calculates the difference in price and reprices the substitution modifier options accordingly. For example, if you remove a default modifier that costs $10 and replace it with two modifiers that cost $8 and $7, then the cost of the replacement modifiers is $5 ($8 + $7 - $10 = $5).

In order for substitution pricing to be available, a menu item must have default modifier options. Default modifier options can be defined in two ways:

  • A modifier group's individual modifier options can be marked as default. This configuration is specified on the modifier group's details page, using the Default column in the Modifiers table. For example, the following illustration shows the Toppings modifier group with the Cheese modifier option marked as default. Menu items that use the Toppings modifier group will all have Cheese as a default modifier.

  • A menu item can be configured to ignore the default modifier options provided by its inherited modifier groups and, instead, specify its own default modifiers. This configuration is specified on the menu item's details page, in the Default Modifiers table. To specify this configuration, you must select the Override option, and then select the modifier options you want to configure as default from the Defaults column. In the illustration below, the Pepperoni Pizza menu item overrides the Cheese default modifier from the Pizza Toppings modifier group and specifies Cheese and Pepperoni as its default modifiers.

For more information on configuring default modifiers, see this Toast Central article.

Regardless of how you define your default modifier options, substitution pricing is always enabled at the modifier group level; for example, you would enable substitution pricing for the Proteins modifier group that modifies salad menu items or the Toppings modifier group that modifies pizza menu items.

To enable substitution pricing for a modifier group

  1. In the Modifier Pricing Method section of a modifier group's details page, make sure the Select where pricing is set configuration option is set to either Additional charge - price set by modifier group or Additional charge - price set on individual modifiers. One of these settings is required to gain access to the Default Modifiers and Substitutions section.

  2. If necessary, specify the pricing for the modifier options in the modifier group you are editing.

  3. In the Default Modifiers and Substitutions section, set the Allow default modifiers to charge their configured price configuration option to No - Ignore modifier price. When you select this option, the Enable Substitution Pricing section becomes available.

  4. Set the Enable Substitution Pricing configuration option to Yes.

  5. Save your changes.

  6. If you are done editing prices for your menus, publish your changes.

Important

Substitution pricing does not currently support the use of location-specific prices on default modifier options. If you want to use substitution pricing, do not specify location-specific prices on the item references for your default modifier options.

Allowing default modifier options to charge their modifier price

Note

This feature is in limited release.

You can specify whether the default modifiers in a modifier group are allowed to charge their configured price. For example, consider a Caesar Salad menu item that costs $10 and has a Chicken default modifier that costs $5. When a Caesar Salad is added to the order, the Chicken default modifier is also automatically added. The price of the Caesar salad itself is $10 and the price of the chicken is $5, making the total cost $15.

The price of a default modifier is defined in the modifier's underlying item reference. You can use any of the pricing strategies that are compatible with modifier option item references when defining the price of a default modifier.

To allow default modifier options to charge their modifier price

  1. In the Modifier Pricing Method section of a modifier group's details page, set the Select where pricing is set configuration option is set to either Additional charge - price set by modifier group or Additional charge - price set on individual modifiers. One of these settings is required to gain access to the Default Modifiers and Substitutions section.

  2. If necessary, specify the pricing for the modifier options in the modifier group you are editing.

  3. In the Default Modifiers and Substitutions section, set the Allow default modifiers to charge their configured price configuration option to Yes - Charge modifier price.

  4. Save your changes.

  5. If you are done editing prices for your menus, publish your changes.

For more information on configuring default modifiers, see this Toast Central article.

Pre-modifiers and pricing

Pre-modifiers allow you to add prefixes and suffixes to a modifier option such as NO, EXTRA, ON THE SIDE, and so on. Depending on the intended behavior of the pre-modifier, you may want the addition of a pre-modifier to change the price of its associated modifier option. For example, you could choose to increase the price of a modifier option that is prefixed with an EXTRA pre-modifier.

This Toast Central article provides additional information about using and pricing pre-modifiers.