What are menu item classes in Micros Simphony?
Menu item classes consist of a set of options that apply to similar menu items in the Micros Simphony POS. Menu item classes is one of the most complex modules in Micros Simphony, and it controls things such as:
- Tax Information
- Privilege Requirements
- Print Class
- Defining if the item is a menu item or condiment
- Guest count Requirements
- And everyone’s “favorite” – required and allowed condiments
Why do we need to use menu item classes in Micros Simphony?
Menu item classes help combine most of the programming necessary for menu items and condiments into groups that can be later allocated as needed. The alternative would be to set up each menu item and condiment individually, programming all the 100+ options available for each one. Imagine having to check over 100 settings every time you need to add a menu item; what a nightmare!
Let’s take a look at an example. Consider the following menu item: Coffee, Americano, Espresso, Cappucino, and Latte. All these menu items have very similar behavior:
- Print in the barista printer
- Have the same taxes
- Allow the same condiments (milk choice etc.)
- Are all beverages
Therefore, you can create a “Coffee” menu item class with all the necessary options selected and make all our menu items part of that class.
If you want a refresher on printing, check out my guide on Kitchen Printers.
Programming Menu Item Classes
Menu item classes can be found at all levels in EMC:
You can program them at any level you wish, but I recommend choosing one and sticking to it because it will be a significant headache to manage menu item classes at multiple levels. The higher the level, the better, so ideally, you would program your menu item classes at the enterprise level and don’t create overrides at the levels below.
If you don’t know how levels work in Micros Simphony, you will want to check out my guide on EMC.
There is no limit to how many menu item classes we can add, but simplicity and organization are key here. You need to add as little as possible to keep the system simple, but enough of them to have all the programming capabilities you need.
As far as organization, I add my menu item classes in blocks:
- 100 – 999 – Open Items
- 1000 – 1999 – Regular food Items
- 2000 – 2999 – Food Items with Condiments
- 3000 – 3999 – Beverages
- 4000 – 4999 – Retail
- 5000 – 5999 – Required Condiments (memberships)
- 6000 – 6999 – General Condiments
Just like with menu items, keeping your database organized is vital, and having everything in blocks will allow room for expansion if you need to add more classes in the future.
The menu item classes module has six primary tabs:
- Condiment Groups
- Forced Condiments
- Fixed Priced Meals
The first 4 are the most important ones, with the latter two not being used that often.
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Menu Item Classes - General Tab
Let’s take a look at all the options in the general tab, and then I will show you how I program my system.
Select the tax class to apply to the menu item class. Common options here are Food Tax and Liquor Tax.
Main/Sub Level Popup
Select the Main/Sub Level of the transaction that becomes active after ordering a menu item from the menu item class – Used for advanced Programming.
Select a Privilege Group number to restrict the use of menu items to managers – commonly used for Open Priced Items or $0 menu items.
To enable all employees to order items in the menu item class, select 0 (zero).
The Sales Itemizer is often used for interfaces such as Opera PMS, or to replace the Subtotal on printed guest checks and customer receipts. You can either see the Subtotal or Food, Liquor, Beer, and Wine.
Select the discount itemizer to determine which discounts can apply to specific menu items. This tells the system which items are food vs. liquor when applying an employee discount, for example. (employee discounts usually only apply to food items).
More details on Discounts.
Service Charge Itemizer
The Service Charge Itemizer is used to determine which Service Charges can be applied to specific menu items. Note that the automatic service charge is unaffected by this setting; only Menu Item Class Option 12 – Add to Automatic Service Charge Itemizer affects the Automatic Service Charge.
More details on Service Charges.
Enter the High Amount Lock Out (HALO) value for menu items in this Menu Item Class. This field represents the total dollar amount of the items that are being ordered, and it is often used for Open Priced menu items. For example, if this field is set to 50, the operator is prompted to confirm items in this class if they exceed $50.
HALO is also often used for preset-priced menu items to safeguard against erroneous entries. For example, the price of Coffee is $1.00. A workstation operator could post 1 Coffee, 5 Coffees, or even 10 Coffees if someone is getting coffee for their entire office. It is unlikely that someone would order 100 Coffees ($100).
Select the course to which items in this Menu Item Class belong. You must also select Menu Item Class option 45 – Use KDS/Dining Course Number.
Default Master Group
Select the default parent item. This field should only be set for condiments when using Conversational Ordering.
Condiment Order Type
Select the method for adding a condiment to a check: Add, Increment, Replace, Toggle.
Condiment Order Popup
Select the Popup Condiment Orderer page to automatically pop up when adding a menu item with required condiments.
This option can also be controlled from the RVC Parameters.
Condiment Edit Popup
Select the Popup Condiment Orderer page to automatically pop up when selecting a menu item with required condiments in the check detail.
This option can also be controlled from the RVC Parameters.
To base the price on the amount entered, select 0 – Based on entered count
To base the price on the rounded-up count, select 1 – Based on sales count when sales rounded up.
Select the manner in which the amount appears for a decimal item on the workstation and printers.
0 – Show entered amount
1 – Show sales count amount with entered count as a reference
The count for an item can be entered as a decimal. There are two counts kept for an item; the entered amount and the sales count. The sales count is always the entered amount if the entered amount is a whole number. If the entered amount is not a whole number, then the sales count is the entered amount, only rounded up. For example, if a user enters 1.5, then the entered amount is 1.5, and the sales count is 2. This field determines whether the entered amount or the sales count appears on workstations and printers.
Select the manner in which workstation operators can enter the sales count of an item in the class.
Enter the Print Group (1-99). The sorting mechanism uses this value for receipt printing, check detail, and order output devices. When the items are set to use groups for sorting, the items appear from lowest group number to highest.
Select the print class for the menu item class (kitchen printers and KDS).
KDS Highlight Scheme
Select the KDS Highlight Scheme color to display menu items on the KDS.
Condiment Prefix Type
Select the prefix type associated with the condiment type. This option is only used with conversational ordering.
Condiment Handling with Parent Item Switching
Select from the following condiment behaviors to use for default and other Condiments, when the parent item is switched in Conversational Ordering:
0 – Condiments Remain Unchanged: Condiment modifications will be unchanged.
1 – Reset Default Condiments Only: Only default condiments for a menu item reset.
2 – Reset All Condiments: All condiment types reset.
All options are applicable when Condiment Prefixes are used.
Select a Page or Panel that the order screen switches to after a menu item associated with this class is ordered.
Page: From the drop-down list, select the next screen to which the workstation user is directed.
Panel: If you select a tabbed template, this area specifies which tab to navigate to after pressing the button.
To use the Next Page functionality in the Menu Item Classes module, Oracle recommends that you configure a Sales SLU screen in the Page Design module, and then select this newly created SLU page from the Page drop-down list and Save.
Ensure that menu items are assigned the proper SLU from the Menu Item Definition record; this allows workstation operators to add the menu item from the SLU page.
To enable a hard-coded menu item key to navigate to another page, configure the Next Page/Panel fields for the actual menu item key in the Page Design module.
All options are applicable when Condiment Prefixes are used.
Maximum Refill Count
Enter the maximum number of refills allowed (up to 99).
Enter the optional label to identify refill items when printed on order chits (up to 12 characters).
Service Charge Group
Select the Service Charge Group to apply to this Menu Item Class. Select 0 – None for no service charge.
Now that we know what all the different options do, I will show you a few examples of how I program my menu item classes.
Menu Item Classes - Option
Next, we can explore all the different option bits in the options tab.
1 – ON = Open-Priced Menu Items; OFF = Preset Menu Items
Select this option to require workstation operators to enter a price when adding a menu item in the class. Deselect this option if you are using preset prices.
3 – Negative Priced Menu Items
Select this option to have menu items in this class post a negative price. This option causes a minus sign (-) to appear before the price.
4 – Increment Seat Number With Sale of these Menu Items
Select this option to increase the seat number each time a workstation operator adds a menu item in the class. This feature is not available when seat filtering is active.
5 – Reference Entry Required
Select this option to require workstation operators to enter a reference entry when adding menu items in the class. The text that is entered outputs to order devices, checks, receipts, and journals.
6 – Validation Required
Select this option to print a validation chit at the validation printer designated in the Workstation module.
7 – Item Discounts May Be Applied to these Menu Items
Select this option to allow menu items in the class to be discounted with an item discount (manual discount only).
8 – Allow Menu Items in this Class to be Non-Priced
Select this option to allow menu items in the class to be non-priced. When selected, priced menu items in this class post a sales and count total when ordered, and appear on reports; non-priced items do not post a sales count and do not appear on reports.
Priced menu items do not require an entry on the Menu Item Price form.
10 – ON = Use Sub Level Pricing; OFF = Use Main Level Pricing
Select this option to apply Sub Level pricing to menu items assigned to the menu item class.
11 – Add to Guest Count
Select this option to increase the guest count each time a workstation operator adds menu items that are assigned to the class. When this option is selected and the Guest Count field is set to 0, Simphony increments the guest count in the transaction by one.
If a workstation operator uses the Number of Guests function key during a transaction, the guest count no longer increments when menu items in the class are added to the check.
Revenue Center Parameters option 8 – Use Number of Seats for Guest Count overrides this option.
12 – Add to Automatic Service Charge Itemizer
Select this option to add sales of the menu items in this class to the Automatic Service Charge itemizer. Automatic service charges apply to all menu items associated with Menu Item Classes where this option is enabled.
13 – Print Price on Order Chit
Select this option to print the menu item price on order devices. This option is typically used with open-priced menu items. Order Devices option Wrap Condiments overrides this option.
14 – Do Not Put in Transaction Detail
Select this option to prevent zero-priced or non-priced menu items in the class from printing, appearing, or posting.
17 – Print Name 1 and Name 2 on Checks
Select this option to print the First Name and the Second Name (from the Menu Item’s Definition record) of all menu items associated with the class on guest checks. For example, with wine menu items, the First Name shows the name of the wine, while the Second Name shows the Bin Number and the type of wine.
18 – Print Name 2 on Order Output instead of Name 1
Select this option to print the Second Name, if defined, of menu items associated with this class on order devices. If a Second Name is not defined, the First Name is used.
Order Devices option 11 – Print Both Menu Item Names overrides this option.
19 – Use Name 2 on Touchscreens instead of Name 1
Select this option to show the Second Name, if defined, of menu items in this class on touchscreen keys. If a Second Name is not defined, the First Name is used. This applies to names shown on Menu Item and Condiment SLU’s, but not to Direct Access keys.
24 – LDS Items (International LDS Only)
Select this option if all menu items in this class can be ordered using an International Liquor Dispensing System (ILDS). Deselect if using a North American Dispensing System (NALDS).
35 – Fixed Price Meal
Select this option to indicate all menu items in the class are the priced (parent) portion of a fixed price meal.
38 – Item is Shareable
Select this option to allow menu items in the class to be shared between two or more seats, or two or more checks.
39 – Retail Item
Select this option to designate all menu items in this class as retail items. Retail items do not post to Gross Food and Beverage receipts.
41 – Consolidate Menu Items with Condiments on Order Output
Select this option to consolidate parent menu items on Order Device Output, and then to print each condiment with its seat number to which the condiment applies. (The Order Device option, Print Seat Numbers with Individual Items must be enabled). For example, if this option is enabled, and an operator orders Chicken Wings with condiments ‘Extra’ and ‘Sauce’ on Seat 1, and Chicken Wings with condiments ‘Without’ and ‘Bleu Cheese’ on Seat 2, then the Order Device Output shows the following:
Seat 1,2: Chicken Wings
S2 Bleu Cheese
43 – Include in CRM/TMS Check Detail Status Update
Select this option to indicate whether a menu item associated with this class is sent to TMS with the check detail status message.
45 – Use KDS/Dining Course Number
Select this option to use KDS/Dining Coursing with the menu item class.
62 – Count Menu Item
Select this option to allow the menu item count to appear on the KDS or at the bottom of the requisition chit from a local or remote printer. To use the Count menu item feature with a KDS, assign a KDS Chit Layout Style containing a menu item count element (for example, #301 – Chit-Std-DOM ). You must also select the Order Devices KDS option 11 – Display Menu Item Count for the order device.
To be counted, you must send a menu item to at least one KDS Display.
This feature informs the expediter or bagger of how many items go into the bag for carry-out or quick service orders.
65 – Support Enhanced Prefix Mode (Parent Only)
Select this option to use enhanced prefix support for non-condiment menu items in the Menu Item Class. Enhanced prefix support uses condiment prefix items to describe condiments such as “Extra” or “No”.
Existing condiment threshold levels are supported for condiment prefixes.
66 – Print Name 3 on Order Output instead of Name 1
Select this option to print the menu item definition’s Third Name, if defined, on order devices for all menu items in this class. If a Third Name is not defined, the First Name is used.
Menu Item Classes option 18 – Print Name 2 on Order Output instead of Name 1 and Order Devices option 11 – Print Both Menu Item Names overrides this option.
68 – Print Name 3 on Checks
Select this option to print the menu item definition’s Third Name, if defined, on guest checks for menu items in this class. 17 – Print Name 1 and Name 2 on Checks overrides this option.
70 – Use Name 2 on OCB instead of Name 1
Select this option to show the menu item definition’s Second Name, if defined, on an Order Confirmation Board (OCB). If a Second Name is not defined, the First Name is used.
74 – Prevent Menu Items from Being Held
Select this option to prevent menu items belonging to this menu item class from being held.
75 – KDS Sort Priority Above Normal
Prioritize Menu Item Classes on KDS Displays in Oracle MICROS Simphony
76 – Post Sales Count To KDS Reports
Select this option to add the menu item count to the Menu Item Count totals on KDS reports.
77 – Only allow condiments with an active price record
Select this option to have condiment items with an active effectivity price record appear in SLUs. When the effectivity record is expired or has a future date, the condiments are not available in SLUs.
You must also disable option 8 – Allow Menu Items in this Class to be Non-Priced.
78 – Forgive Inclusive Tax
Select this option to forgive the inclusive tax for the Menu Item Class.
79 – Do not print unpriced condiments on Guest Checks
Select this option to prevent unpriced condiments from printing on guest checks and customer receipts.
Option 79 applies to the menu item condiments. For example, if there is no charge for lettuce on a sandwich, you can configure this condiment to not print. If there is a charge for avocado on a sandwich, you can configure this condiment to print.
You must also select 65 – Support Enhanced Prefix Mode (Parent Only) for the main menu item (such as a hamburger or chicken sandwich) that can be modified with condiments.
80 – Override do not print unpriced condiments on Guest Checks
Select this option to have condiments with the condiment prefix always print on guest checks and customer receipts.
Option 80 is the override of option 79 for the unpriced condiments. If you are using condiment prefixes (for example, extra mayo), apply this option to the condiment prefix menu item class.
82 – Contains Alcohol
Select this option to identify menu items containing alcohol. This setting can then be used by integrators (via Simphony Transaction Services Gen2) to show users which menu items contain alcohol.
For my configuration, here are the option bits I have selected:
- Food Items: 7, 8, 12, 18, 26, 27, 38
- Open Priced Food Items: 1, 5, 7, 8, 12, 18, 26, 27, 38
- Beverages and Liquor: 7, 8, 12, 18, 25, 26, 27, 28, 34, 38
- Condiments: 2, 7, 8, 12, 18, 26, 27, 38
Micros Simphony can be used in all kinds of establishments, from small coffee shops to 5-star restaurants and even cruise ships; that’s why there are so many option bits in the menu item classes module, to accommodate everyone. Unfortunately, this flexibility comes with extreme complexity, which makes programming very difficult.
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Now it's your turn!
- Do you have any questions about programming menu item classes?
- Which classes do you use the most in your system?
- How many menu item classes do you have programmed?
- Let me know in the comments below!