In a restaurant, forecasting uses data to predict how much the company can expect in sales over a given period of time. At the macroeconomic level, sales forecasting helps a company set growth objectives and determine its overall profits and revenues. At the microeconomic level, forecasting helps a restaurant plan inventory orders and how many employees need to work each shift to prepare and sell food. An inaccurate sales forecast can result in a waste of funds on labor, inventory, and even restaurant operating expenses.
Forecasting for restaurants is the process of using data from the past to predict future sales within a given period. This information can be used to make decisions about menu changes, staffing levels, supply needs, and even promotions. Forecasting can help you better anticipate the exact amount of inventory you might need. You can view past sales data, monthly trends, and seasonality to more accurately order the right amount of inventory.
However, keep in mind that, especially in the case of restaurants, there will be some degree of unpredictability, but this should bring you closer to accurate and less expensive inventory levels. Restaurant sales projections are based on historical data. This means that you can predict the sales that will occur during a similar period considered with a certain degree of accuracy. If you expect sales to increase, you can add the amount of inventory you want to buy during the period.
By making accurate predictions, cases of food waste or the purchase of insufficient inventory are reduced. Because food waste costs restaurants huge amounts every year, accurate forecasts help you avoid excessive or under-purchases at the restaurant. You'll always know how many customers to expect and you'll plan your inventory accordingly. Changes in supply and demand for various foods can cause you to put your sales forecast back on the drawing board.