Toast Considerations for Programming & Menu Setup
This is a guide to programming categories and items within Aloha to provide the best insights via Avero reporting. To read more about Toast and Avero visit: Toast POS
- Updating Toast Programming or Programming a New Toast System
- Point-of-Sale Configuration: Categories
- Point-of-Sale Configuration: Meal Periods, Order Types, and Payments
Updating Toast Programming or Programming a New Toast System
Different POS systems require some degree of configuration for the data to display correctly in Avero and be analyzed effectively. Avero provides the following Global categories: Beverage, Food, Misc., Other, and Retail. The Major and Minor categories come from your POS. When pulling the data from Toast, your Toast Sales Categories are Major Categories and your Toast Menu Groups are Minor Categories.
Categories are an essential element when viewing Avero reports - this is how to apply the business intelligence that Avero provides to your operation. Categories with enough detail enable you to analyze your operation and better evaluate server performance. Category mapping decisions should be made with input from the chef, the FOH, and the accounting teams so all needs are met.
Point-of-Sale Configuration: Categories
Avero shows Toast Sales Categories as Major Categories and Menu Groups as Minor Categories.
In Toast, every item should be part of a Sales Category, and you can assign entire menus or groups to specific sales categories. This sales category routing decides where the revenue is applied (is it Food revenue or Beverage revenue, etc). In Toast, Sales Categories are optional, but without sales categories, you won't know where to credit your sales!
Menu groups relate to how your items are displayed for use when ordering in the POS. As such a single item can belong to multiple 'Groups' but only one Sales Category. My Caesar Salad can belong to both the Salads and Appetizers groups but is in the Food sales category, so the revenue recorded for the sale of a Caesar salad is always going to be Food Sales. Avero can only display a single Menu Group as the minor category, so the lowest in the hierarchy (most specific) is used.
Data Mapping of Mofifiers, Sales Categories, and Menu Groups:
- Toast's guide to setting up Menu Items: Toast Menu Items
- Global Category: Mapped by Avero, highest level (Food, Beverage, or Other)
- Major Category: Toast Sales Category
- Guide to setup from Toast: Toast Sales Categories
- Minor Category: Toast Menu Group
- Guide to setup from Toast: Toast Menu Groups
- Modifiers: MODIFIER
- Toast's guide to Modifiers: Toast Modifiers
- If a Sales Category is missing, you'll see the Major Category listed as NO SALES CATEGORY (to fix this, you'll need to apply a Sales Category to the item in Toast programming)
- If a Menu Group is missing, you'll see the Minor Category listed as NO MENU GROUP (to fix this, you'll need to apply a Menu Group to the item in Toast programming)
Note that Modifiers may not appear as you expect as they are always distinct line items, read more about this here: Modifiers in Avero
Avero has even more options to help bring more specific analysis to your Toast sales data - we recommend using Custom Categories to link up items that may not be linked in your Toast system. You can create categories in Avero to track specific items or trends in sales. You won't be able to see the categories in Toast and it won't affect your regular sales reports, but gives you the option to report on categories that may not be linked for revenue purposes, but make sense to view together for operational decision-making.
Common Problem: Repeated Sales Category or Menu Group Names
Toast allows for a Menu Item to exist in multiple Menu Groups, and allows Menu Groups to nest in other Menu Groups. Avero can only display a single Minor Category/Menu Group, so the lowest in a nested value, or most specific value, will be used.
Example: If you have Menu Item of Caesar Salad in a Sales Category of Plates, in a Menu Group of Appetizers within which is another Menu Group (or server screen) of Salads, your Avero report would show:
- Menu Item: Caesar Salad
- Major Category: Plates
- Minor Category: Salads
Why do I see my Minor Categories listed with numbers in parentheses, as CATEGORY (11111)?
If you see multiple category names with numbers in parentheses, this indicates you have Duplicated Category Names. The number in parentheses is the category ID number so duplicate name values can be differentiated.
This behavior occurs when you have multiple categories with the same name. We typically only display the name of a Category, but when multiple categories have the same name we provide the ID in the parenthetical to allow for differentiation. The hierarchy can be viewed most clearly in the Category Sales Report, when selecting Global Categories you'll see the Major and Minor categories and how they roll up to each other.
This is often seen in Toast POS as there is one level of Sales Category and many options for Menu Groups, which are Minor Categories in Avero.
- If your Major Category (In Toast this comes from your SALES CATEGORY) has multiple Minor Categories (in Toast this comes from your MENU GROUPS) you will see Menu Group Name (Sales Category ID)
- This means in Toast you have a SALES CATEGORY with multiple MENU GROUPS named the exact same
- You can update the quantity or names of your Menu Groups in Toast and see the change reflected in Avero
Point-of-Sale Configuration: Meal Periods, Order Types, and Payments
Toast POS also allows you to create Meal Periods (sometimes called Day Parts), Order Types, and Payment methods so you can configure the building blocks of your data to best support Avero reporting.
We strongly recommend against creating Menu Groups or Sales Categories for specific Meal Periods or Order Types as this causes confusing and redundant reporting. Use the Meal Period and Order Type features to support the cleanest data with the highest level of report configurability.
See Avero's complete guide to Meal Periods: Meal Periods in Avero
See Toast's guide to programming Meal Periods: Meal Periods in Toast
Create distinct serving periods in Toast and see them reflected in Avero next day. Avero will automatically reflect any changes you make in the next day's data. If you fix an error and want to fix past data, open a ticket with Avero Support and request they rerun the dates you want to reflect the new conditions.
Filter your Avero reporting by Meal Period using the Meal Period filter:
See Avero's complete guide to Order Types: Order Types in Avero
See Toast's guide to programming Dining Options: Dining Options in Toast
Toast calls Order Types "Dining Options" - think Take Out, Delivery, Dine-In, but you can create custom ones to reflect whatever you want to track. Create distinct dining options in Toast and use the report generator to filter by this value. This is especially helpful to look at your Delivery revenue, for example.
Filter your Avero reporting by Dining Options using the Order Type filter:
Payments / Service Charges / Gift Cards / Deferred Revenue / Deposits
Other data quality concerns may be ensuring your event deposits, gift card sales, tips or service charges are accurately reflected.
Make sure you understand what you want reflected as revenue and when, and program Toast accordingly. Both Avero and Toast maintain robust Knowledge Base Libraries of guides and FAQs to assist, and you can always open a support ticket for relevant advice with either organization.
Here are some helpful setup guides from Toast's Knowledge Base on these topics: