What is Restaurant Forecasting Software and What are its Benefits

what is restaurant forecasting software and what are its benefits

The Benefits of Forecasting Software

Restaurant forecasting software offers unique benefits to restaurant business professionals. Investing in a designated software program that specifically creates sales forecasts has major implications for business profitability and longevity.

Benefits of restaurant sales forecasting software include-

1. Accuracy- Predicting future sales is an important restaurant management process. Unsurprisingly, restaurant owners are susceptible to having a bias about the restaurant sales they expect to achieve in the future.

Restaurant sales forecast software increases the accuracy of sales forecasts exponentially, ideally exceeding a 95% accuracy rate. Along with more accurate sales data comes the opportunity for data driven decision making and optimized restaurant management.

2. Forecast sales variations- Software incorporates variations that restaurant owners may fail to consider or accurately account for during the sales forecasting process. For example, an unexpected change in weather or upcoming holiday season could result in completely different food costs or labor costs than may otherwise be projected without the use of forecasting software.

Historical sales data is analyzed by sales forecast software in order to analyze and pinpoint trends. When your restaurant business has a better understanding of trends, every business operation from your inventory management to employee scheduling techniques will benefit.

3. Labor and food costs- Predicting future restaurant sales more accurately will optimize food and labor costs for your business. Unnecessary labor costs are decreased when employee scheduling is properly executed. Sales forecasting software can help your restaurant business anticipate how many customers a shift may bring so that you can undertake staff scheduling accordingly.

Improper employee scheduling that does not incorporate sales forecasting can result in overstaffing or understaffing. The customer experience will likely not be as positive if your staff scheduling does not provide enough employees for a shift.

Alternatively, staff scheduling that is excessive results in unnecessary labor costs that can majorly damage your restaurant's long term bottom line profitability. Similarly, food costs should be positively influenced by more accurate sales forecasting.

Instead of tying up large amounts of financial capital in excessive inventory purchases, restaurant sales forecast software can simplify inventory management greatly. Various POS systems include inventory management capabilities, even further streamlining your restaurant management.

Food waste is a common result of improper inventory management and inaccurate food cost projections. Another common result of improper food cost projections is an understocked inventory, which decreases menu item availability and may negatively impact the customer experience overall.

Using historical data to predict future sales will maximize the probability of food cost and labor cost optimization.

Elements of a Good Restaurant Forecasting Software

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Deciding which restaurant sales forecasting software is best for your specific business can be a daunting task. Important considerations for restaurant owners to analyze before investing and implementing a specific sales forecasting software program may include-

1. Metrics- Generally a sales forecast is based on historical sales or guest count data. Depending on how new your restaurant is and how comprehensive your data is, different metrics may be preferable.

The best software choice is the one that provides the ability for your business to use the KPIs most applicable to your specific business operations.

2. Accessibility- No matter how innovative a restaurant management software program is, it is useless if your employees do not feel comfortable using it.

If whoever is in charge of sales forecasting is unexpectedly unavailable, other staff members should feel confident accessing and running the program. Software with a cloud basedmanagement platform provides easy use and may even offer compatibility with other programs.

3. Compatibility- Some sales forecasting software programs may be compatible with preexisting software programs ranging from employee scheduling to POS system software. Restaurant sales and employee productivity are benefitted when your restaurant management software is working collaboratively.

Conclusion

  • Restaurant sales forecasting software benefits business operations ranging from restaurant inventory management to employee scheduling techniques. When a business can properly forecast restaurant sales, data driven decision making increases.
  • Forecasting software pinpoints trends using historical sales data after analyzing factors such as daily capacity and seasonal changes. Maintaining the correct restaurant inventory and staff schedules lowers or eliminates unnecessary labor and food costs from plaguing your business's bottom line profitability.
  • Avoiding understaffing or overstaffing improves the customer experience while keeping labor costs low for your business. Proper restaurant inventory management also keeps the customer experience as positive as possible by decreasing the likelihood of unavailable menu items.
  • Some forecasting software offers POS data integration and compatibility with other preexisting software programs.
  • Restaurant industry professionals should feel their sales forecasting software program is easy to use and appropriate for their specific business needs.