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Tips for Creating the Best Restaurant Menu on Square POS

Creating your menu in Square can seem like a daunting task.  There are a lot of options like Categories, Items, Modifiers and Variations to consider but the key is to know what each of these things represent in Square and what it means to you, in your world.  Keeping yourself organized is super important too, but it doesn’t hurt anything to check things out and play with the system with mock up items, just to familiarize yourself. It can all be deleted and you can start from scratch when you feel comfortable with it.


First, let’s learn how Square uses these terms –


Categories: A group of similar items.

(i.e. – Burgers, Pasta, Salads, etc.)

Items:  Every individually listed item from your menu.  This will likely mirror a menu list, which is organized into grouped sections on your available menu.

Variations: If it applies, a variety of the same item, likely in different sizes but not limited to that.  

(i.e. – Small, Medium, Large Drink; Half or Whole Salads, Hot or Iced Drinks, etc.)

Modifiers:  A group of choices or options customers have for a certain item or group of items.  

(i.e. Cook Temp – Rare, Medium, Well; Add Sandwich Toppings – Tomatoes, Lettuce, Onions; Cheese Choice – Cheddar, Swiss, American)


Now that you have the basics down, you’ll visit to sign up and sign in.  Once you’ve set up your account it’s time to get your menu set up!


A great tool that you can utilize if you’ve already organized your menu to a tee is to use Square’s import option.  This allows you to simply import your items from an existing spreadsheet directly into Square.  You’ll save time and typing practice if you’ve already done all the prepwork this way. Square has some great how-to resources available that you can check out.


Square is mostly organized in 2 groups: Categories and Modifiers.  Items are found in Categories and you can have one or many different Variations of the same item.

You’ll likely have Items already separated into category groups anyway, so keep it simple and go with that.  (i.e. Salads, Soups, Burgers, Desserts, etc.)

It’s also important to consider modifiers when you’re working through your categories and items within.  This can be a confusing part and can completely get out of hand. You may end up throwing your hands in the air and consider making modifiers for each item on your menu, but unless you want to create more work for yourself, think about consolidating your modifier groups, when available.  Another thing to mention here is that Square is limited to a single level of modifier groups, meaning there isn’t the option for sub-modifiers or for a single modifier to have choices. Consolidating your modifier groups will help you in the long run and it will be nice not having a million different modifiers to sift through to associate to each item.  While consolidating the modifiers, you’ll want to make sure that what you’re consolidating actually makes sense to each item that it will be associated to.  For instance, you may want to only consolidate modifiers for items within the same category group. (Cheese and onions might be acceptable modifiers for both salads and soups but it’s likely that croutons or olives is meant just for salads.  It’s probably best to make separate modifier groups – one for salads and one for soups even though some options may apply to both).  Mixing modifiers for soup and salad categories can get confusing to you, your staff and your customers especially if you plan on integrating with mobile app ordering like what provides.  


The way I like to explain achieving the most understandable, user-friendly menu is to pretend that you’ve handed your point of sale device directly to your customer.  Could they place their own order without help from you directly? If you’ve organized your menu and options appropriately, your answer will be a resounding YES!


While some in house operations prefer simplified menus because it’s appealing for staff, it really limits your options in the ever-growing world of technology.  Restaurant Mobile Ordering Apps can integrate directly into your point of sale system so keeping these tips in mind kills two birds with one stone. If you’d like more information on integrating your Square account into a low-cost mobile ordering app and allow your customers the ease of ordering through an app on their phone, please contact us at – No worries if your menu is a tad on the hectic side though, our Onboarding Specialists can help you optimize your menu for both in-house operations and for use with our app.


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