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New Intelligent Forecasting Features Help Operators Meet Changing Consumer Demands

Find out how you can improve your forecasting accuracy with these recent enhancements to HotSchedules Intelligent Forecasting and Activity Based Forecasting.

Catering, delivery, mobile ordering and take out. Consumers have spoken and they want more options for where and when they eat. The Netflix effect is real – and it’s changing the way operators run their businesses. The good news is that consumers are eating food prepared outside the home more than ever before, they just aren’t necessarily dining in. How operators adapt to the dynamics of consumer preference and technological advances could be the difference between top line growth and a slow and steady decline.

As HotSchedules customers adapt to changing times, our Product team is right there with them – continuously updating the application’s forecasting capabilities to help restaurants stay competitive. Knowing where the transactions are taking place within your restaurant and how that demand affects staffing both front and back-of-house is a key concern for operators today.

Read on to see how you can improve your forecasting accuracy with these recent enhancements to HotSchedules Intelligent Forecasting and Activity Based Forecasting.

Staff to Meet the Forecasted Demand in HotSchedules

Starting July 24, 2017, HotSchedules customers who forecast sales by revenue center (RVC) can begin applying a percentage adjustment to each including drive thru, carry out and delivery. View your forecasts by revenue center from the apply/edit modal and easily make an adjustment in the RVC column.

Note: RVCs must be supported by your POS integration and any adjustments made to a sales projection will adjust all other labor drivers by the same percentage.

View by Day and Time Interval

Managers can now get even more precise with their sales and labor projections with visibility into each RVC in 15-minute increments. For example, if you have a big catering order scheduled for 11 a.m., you can staff your back-of-house to meet that demand without overstaffing the front-of-house unnecessarily. Just click on the corresponding arrow to view each RVC’s forecasted number for that particular interval of time.

Dynamic Proforma Report


A new “Dynamic Proforma” report is now available to all managers with access to the Proforma II reports. The report includes any Labor Driver (including custom drivers) as a reporting metric as well as a breakdown of sales by Revenue Center.

Insights: Weather Forecast Adjustments

Should you schedule servers on the patio? How busy can you expect the drive-thru to be? HotSchedules brings in external data to make intelligent recommendations about how you should schedule and forecast. The first of these is an integrated Accuweather feed that recommends percentage forecast adjustments based on how the weather has historically impacted your business. This month you will notice that we have increased the weather feed from 10 to 15 days – so you can make intelligent scheduling decisions up to two weeks out.

Activity Based Forecasting – New Customer Requested Features

Two recently added features will give ABF customers more flexibility when creating schedules for different job codes resulting in an even more precise forecast.

Schedule Creation Method

ABF customers now have the option to either maintain current settings with the Default option or choose from the new Generate Shifts or Generate Hours by job code settings. These new options give you the ability to schedule back of house and front of house differently, based on the needs of your business.

Note: Although this is set up by job code, you must apply the same setting to all job codes within the same schedule.

Additive Rules

As you know, ABF labor rules are independent in nature, which means that the rule that results in the higher labor percentage is applied to your schedule. This upcoming feature allows for “additive” or inclusive rules to be applied during the forecasting process. This can be used to create different types of rules for the same period of time for a single job code.

Curious about how Activity Based Forecasting could improve your forecasting efforts? Check out this video to learn more.

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