Understanding the menu hierarchy

Toast products use a hierarchical structure to organize your menu offerings:

  • Menus are the highest level of the hierarchy and represent top-level categories for the offerings your restaurant serves, for example, Food, Drinks, Lunch, Dinner, Happy Hour, or Bar.

  • Menus contain menu groups, which are smaller sets of related offerings, for example, a Food menu might contain menu groups for Appetizers, Salads, Entrees, and Desserts.

  • Menu groups contain menu items, which are the offerings themselves. An Entrees menu group might contain Roast Chicken, Pasta Primavera, and Blackened Salmon menu items.

  • Menu items can be assigned modifier groups that are used to further customize the menu item, for example, a Turkey Sandwich menu item could be assigned Cheese and Condiment modifier groups that allow a user to specify the type of cheese and the condiments they want on their sandwich.

  • Modifier groups contain modifiers that represent the specific changes you can make to the menu item. For example, a Cheese modifier group could contain Cheddar and Provolone modifiers while a Temperature modifier group could contain Rare, Medium, and Well Done modifiers.

This hierarchical structure allows your guests and employees to quickly and easily locate the items they want to add to an order and modify them as needed. The structure you create is used by all Toast products, including Toast Online Ordering, Toast Takeout, Toast Order and Pay, Toast Kiosk, and the Toast POS app.

This documentation uses the term menu entity to refer generally to a component in the menu hierarchy (menu, menu group, menu item, modifier group, or modifier).


The classic menu workflow supports additional menu hierarchy entities such as menu sub-groups and nested modifier groups. The menu builder does not yet support these menu entities.