Helping multi-store restaurant partners (MSRPs) edit and update their menus effeciently.
Period: Q2 2021
Team: Sole product designer and researcher on the team along with a product manager, business owner, data scientist and developers.
Tools: Figma, Protopie, Tableau
Impact: 13% increase in adoption, 6% decrease in offline request to our internal teams.
In Q1 we launched the portal menu editor which had all capabilities to edit menu. Users could create, edit, delete menu items and categories.
After two months of its 100% roll-out we saw a high adoption from single-store restaurants but our multi-store restaurant partners (MSRPs) were still not using this feature and relied heavily on our internal content teams to update their menus. As the MSRPs were rapidly increaing on our platform, our internal content team was overburdened with menu update requests, making the process lenghty and error prone.
Since I wasn't part of the team which had released this feature, I first tried to understand why MSRPs were still not using this feature. The answer was a terrible user experience they had to face to update menus of multiple stores.
Making the same update across multiple stores meant having to repeat it in every store one by one.
Investigating further helped me understand why this problem existed in the first place. In its initial days GrabFood was aimed at onboarding street vendors, mom & pop shops to offer local flavours of the city and stand-out from the competiton.
Our menu structure worked perfectly for these merchants, but now had started to create issues with the surge in number of MSRPs on the platform.
In the infographic the chicken rice across different stores are treated as different dishes in the system. Not having any commonality between the menus of different stores of the same restaurant caused them to repeat their actions while editing the item.
After multiple rounds of discussion we decided to phrase the problem such that it encapsulates the problem for the end users along with the shortcomings of the GrabFood menu structure.
Stores of the same restaurant had different menus in our back-end which made updating menus for multi-store restaurants lengthy and error-prone.
Before I jumped in to the solutioning it was important to understand how MSRPs managed their menus internally. For this we interviewed 8 operations manager. Two big patterns emerged.
- Merchants would group stores under the same menu: This grouping would be done by geographical location within the city or based on use cases. E.g. - “Jakarta west”, “Higher kid population”.
- No common patterns between the menus of different stores: Some restaurants had use cases to have completely different menus while others would have minor differences in item availability and prices. E.g. - Certain items would be more expensive in tourist and airport locations.
Concept 1: Preserve the current menu structure and build a solution upon it.
An easy to build solution and solve this problem in the short-term was to have a copy paste changes option available. This solution could be built quickly as it would not require any changes to the current menu structure in the back-end. That is why it garnered a lot of positive attention from our content ops team which were overburdened by the menu update requests.
However, while evaluating this concept thoroughly I came to the realisation that it might not be a very scalable solution. Future Features such as insights and promo creation would be build around the menu structure and it was important that we made changes to the menu keeping that in mind.
From the research two big scenarios emerged. No matter, what the type of change might be it would always be able to fit in to being a:
- Local edit: Make an edit to a single or few stores togehter.
- Global edit: Make an edit to all their stores together.
Based on these two scenarios, me and the product manager came up with a new concept around structuring our menu: Making local edit: Group stores under a menu
- Stores which are grouped under the same menu would have identical menus - everything from categories, items, item price, category order, item order.
- Upon publishing a menu , all linked stores will automatically inherit the changes.
Global edits: A master items list
- A central repo of all items that can be edited across all menus together.
- Mex can perform changes across all menus with a single action.
- Same items across different stores would be identified by their names and clubbed together.
Here is how it all looked together in the actual product:
When asked to edit across few menus together: No usability issues, users were enthusiastic about the feature!
When asked to edit across all menus together: Initially all of them used menus to make that change. However, even when I surfaced the master items list, they found the concept of configuring menus and their prices to be a bit difficult.
Since the concept of a master items list was hard to grasp during the UT, we reconsidered its viabilty and decided to make changes to it because of the following reasons:
Taking the master items list behind the scenes: Since the concept of the master item list was becoming hard to understand we deicded to make the changes in the back-end and embedd it within the menu editing flows instead of having a separate entry point for it. Here is how it looked in the design:
After rolling out these changes to all our MSRPs in Singapore here is the impact we have seen:
- 29% of multi-store restaurants have created more than 2 multi-store menus themselves, 90% of their stores are now linked to a multi-store menu.
- 13% increase in adoption: Spike in restaurant partners who make more than 5 edits to their menu in week.
- 16% decrease in offline requests to our internal team from MSRPs: Estimated 6K hours of internal teams saved a month.