Digital Menu Manager

Published: 07/04/2020 / Updated: 07/04/2020

Over the last 2 years SONIC has made a push into digital platforms to keep up with the competition. During this period we have rebuilt the infrastructure and rolled out a new mobile app that is designed with Order Ahead capabilities. With everything else under control, we were left with one big problem to solve: How do we get a digital menu into the app?


Our biggest challenge came in understanding how a culinary concept becomes a tangible product sold in the store. It took several months of discovery to put the puzzle together. To solve our problem, we decided against purchasing software and went in the direction of building our own tool.

How it Works (High-Level)

The DMM takes data from other internal tools and maps dozens of relationships to create a product. The relationships include recipes, build items, nutrition, marketing category and so on. The DMM then decorates the data with consumer friendly information (images, product name, disclaimers, etc). The tool also manages menus, menu categories and where each product is placed.


Guidelines (Do's/Don'ts)

With a new tool, comes great responsibility. Scope creep comes in many forms, particularly when you have a blank canvas. I came up with a set of guidelines so that the tool never overstepped its boundaries. One of the biggest things we worked on was making sure that the DMM was not responsible for anything but what the menu is at any given point in time. Data points such as images and display rules are handled at another layer that inform the channel on how it should render the menu for display.


Order Ahead is currently in internal BETA with an anticipated public release in early 2018.

Role & Responsibilities

  • Product Owner (DMM, Various APIs)

  • Internal SME for Vendor Partners

  • UI/UX Feedback/Approval

  • Infrastructure Mapping & Feedback

  • Discovery

  • Requirements Gathering/Acceptance Criteria

  • Team Management (8 - 10 Developers / 2 Business Analysts / Project Manager)

  • Budget: $2.400.000

Tech Stack

  • React

  • GoCD

  • Java

  • AWS



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