The Courses feature streamlines your service flow, course timing, and production printing for your kitchen. Perfect for venues of all sizes, whether you offer a tapas-style menu with plenty of small plates or a more traditional 'entrée, main, dessert' offering.
Automatically assign products to courses and have waitstaff sending course calls, docket updates, and additional instructions to the kitchen with just a tap. You’ve got complete control of how you’d like to set up the printing system for this, whether you want all courses to appear on the docket when an order is placed, or just the next course.
This guide covers enabling and configuring Courses to customise this add-on for your workflow.
What's in this guide?
Before you begin
You will need:
- A Lightspeed subscription that includes the Courses feature.
Enable the courses feature
Automatic course allocation
- Select Settings from the Courses feature page.
- Leave as YES if you want menu items to automatically be assigned to the relevant course when you place an order. Select NO if you prefer to manually assign menu items to courses every time an order is placed.
Create courses and assign POS categories to them
You can now create your courses, with full control over how many courses to set up and what they are called.
For instance, you could call them Entrée, Main and Dessert, if that is how your menu is structured. If your offering is all about small plates, you could set your courses as 1st Course, 2nd Course, 3rd Course, 4th Course, etc.
1. Select Settings from the Courses feature page.
The default course, called Now, is used for orders that are called immediately (e.g. drinks, starters). All the product categories will be assigned under Now at the start, until other courses are set.
Note - Even when product categories are assigned to a course, staff can easily override this and manually assign products to a different course (e.g. stuffed mushrooms as the main course instead of being an starter) by tapping on the course first (e.g. main course) and then on the product (e.g. stuffed mushrooms).
2. Select Add Course and enter the name of the course you’d like to add. Repeat until all your courses have been created.
3. Assign POS categories to each course. Each POS category can be assigned to only one course.
Enter the name of the product category in the space beside the course name. Once you start typing, available product categories will appear in the drop-down menu.
Remove a POS category from a course
- Use backspace, or select the x beside it.
- The category will go back to being assigned under the Now course, because all products need to be assigned to a course and Now is the default.
Reposition the order of the courses
- Drag and drop the course using the double-headed arrow beside it (A on image below).
Remove an entire course
- Select the trashcan icon beside it (B on image below).
- When you delete an entire course, all the product categories under it will be assigned to Now.
Remove ALL product categories under a course
- Select the x within the box where the category names are (C on image below).
- When selected, all removed product categories will be assigned to the default course, Now.
4. Select Save Changes below and you’re done.
Configure docket printing
Now it’s time to make sure that the printing of your dockets is aligned with your workflow.
1. From the same Courses feature settings page, scroll down to SEQUENCE OF SERVICE.
You will find three options:
- Print all items immediately & call away verbally - this sends the whole outline of the courses (see A in image below) to the kitchen after the waitstaff selects Send. This is best for restaurant venues that do not have a printer system for order dockets and can only communicate with the kitchen verbally.
- Print all items immediately & call as needed on POS - this sends the whole outline of the courses (see A in image below) to the kitchen after the waitstaff selects Send. Once the bell icon is selected on the POS to call the course, this will print a docket to alert the kitchen (see B in image below). This is best for restaurant venues that have a printer system for order dockets.
- Print items only as their course is called - this DOES NOT send the outline of the courses to the kitchen. This only sends dockets of individual courses as they are called (when the waitstaff hits the bell icon on the POS). This is best used for quick service environments where food is already made and does not require further preparation.
2. Scroll down further to PRINT UNCALLED ITEMS WITH CHANGES
You will find three options:
Print uncalled items and changes since last printed - this sends new production dockets with remaining uncalled items and changes summarised in the footer (see C in image below).
Print changes only since last printed - this sends the summary of changes on a separate instruction docket (see D in image below).
Disable change summaries - new items print on their own docket. No summaries whatsoever.
Selling with Courses
1. When you place an order, you will find products automatically get assigned to corresponding courses, no matter in which order they were selected.
Note - For one-off situations, you can easily override the assignment. Simply tap the course on the order summary, then tap the dish. This will manually assign the dish to the selected course.
2. Select Send (see image below) when the order is finished to send the order to the kitchen the way you have set up your printing configurations.
3. Use the bell icon (see image below) to call courses or individual dishes. This will also print a docket depending on your printing configurations.
Note - The Now course is automatically called to get items to the customer ASAP. As for the rest of the courses, you can select the bell icon to call a whole course or individual dish.
You can still use courses if you are using an online ordering system such as Lightspeed Ordering, or Mr Yum, but you will need to ensure:
- AUTOMATIC COURSE ALLOCATION is turned on.
- Sequence of service printing configuration is set to Print all item immediately & call away verbally.
- APPLY COURSING TO DINE-IN ONLINE ORDERS is turned on.
Need more hacks to make your table service more efficient? Check out Lightspeed’s Tables feature. You can assign orders to tables and allow your staff to oversee everything from an intuitive digital layout.
Looking for more settings to help your waitstaff focus on their own orders? Check out Staff Level Order Control.
Last but not least, Guest Tracking allows you to record how many guests are seated at each table and track spend per head.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do all products need to have an automatic course?
Once you enable Courses, all product categories need to be assigned to a course. If they are not assigned to a course, they will automatically fall under the default cours, Now.
Are there any add-ons that can cause compatibility issues?
Group Ordering is not compatible with the Courses feature, and can cause issues with printing if they are both enabled on the same site.
Is this add-on only for fine dining venues?
Courses can be customised for all kinds of establishments with table service, not just fine-dining venues. You can set up the number of courses, what they’re called, and what gets printed and when, in alignment with your courses configuration and workflow.