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The Need for a Weekly Labor Forecast

screenshot of point of sale system  Do you do a wheely labor forecast

The Massachusetts Restaurant Association (MRA) and RealFood President Ed Doyle surveyed MRA members on how they execute various operating procedures. When it comes to good restaurant business practices, some members confirmed they follow them, and some admitted they don t. Find out how you fit into the landscape of best practices.

An all too common problem that comes up with scheduling is that mangers have a fixed labor schedule meaning the same people and number of people are scheduled every Monday, every Tuesday, with no adjustment for sales volume. A proactive manager needs to break the operating budget down into a weekly forecast, use it at the daily level, and write a schedule each week based on this and external events. For instance, if there is a new high school football game every Thursday in fall that generates a lot of business, that s an external event that a manager needs to plan labor around.

A labor forecast that is tailored to each unique week lets you control your costs, boost customer experience, and increase the quality of life for the employees. It makes sure you have the right amount of staff, and aren’t paying for more labor than you need. The right amount of staff also translates to a correct level of customer service. And finally, letting your staff know the schedule a week ahead of time means your on-call employees don t have to sit by the phone all evening to find out whether they’ll be working tonight or not.

Ultimately, a labor forecast is a tool to measure the management team it can be checked to ensure managers are adjusting the labor level based on sales. If a day is not aligned to the sales forecast, did your managers react? Remember, you cannot manage yesterday s payroll. Look forward to manage your profitability and deliver the best customer experience.