Proper restaurant forecasting helps you make an educated guess on how much you are going to sell of the items on your menu and your specials. Assess which items are sold more than others and if the items on your menu are worth holding on to, then consider external factors.
The 3 factors in forecasting:
1. Reservations + occupation forecast
This is how many reservations you have combined with historical data on past occupation on the same days of the week or dates in the year
2. Menu assessment: menu management + specials
Every menu has its own distribution of demand. When you look at your dessert menu for instance, you can do a quick menu assessment and probably rank the items based on demand effortlessly. This distribution should also be taken into account in your restaurant forecasting, purchasing, stock and Mise en Place.
Outside your menu, you often sell specials – seasonal favourites, or dishes you have created with yesterday’s leftovers. By doing a menu assessment of the nature of these specials, you can adjust the basic distribution of your menu accordingly as the specials have an impact on your sales.
3. External factors : seasonality + history + events
The three major external factors which will impact your restaurant forecasting are:
- History of your peak periods
- Local events in your neighborhood.