Forecasting and Food Cost Controlling Process of Restaurants

Restaurants forecasting process

Forecasting is important for every restaurant. Mainly, the restaurants need to forecast on sales, production needs, inventory levels and order quantities. They make forecasts based on historical data, current data and future trends.

  • Existing Business Calculations

Some restaurants will identify and monitor the repeat customers and chart their visits. It can help the restaurants to know about the preferences of the frequent customers and identify their consumption patterns. Restaurants can use these retention statistics to determine the likelihood that these repeat customers will continue to visit the restaurant and use the information for forecasting the future sales.

  • Growth Indications

Restaurants often use growth statistics to better forecast the future sales. Restaurant owners monitor their sales and complete calculations to figure out the increase in sales each month in order to determine growth statistics and identify the patterns. The restaurant can use this statistics as a standard growth rate in sales and project the sales for the following months.

  • Seasonal History

Restaurants often experience changes in sales as the seasons shift. For example, people tend to interested in having hotpot during winter; eating ice-cream during summer. The restaurants will take this seasonal factor into consideration when forecasting the future sales.

  • Trends Research

Restaurants also use trend data to project their potential sales. They do researches on the industry they are in and gather sales information on other restaurants within the industry. This information can give the restaurant owner a better idea on the average sales figures of the industry and help them to better forecast the future sales.

Restaurants food cost control process

Food cost is one of the major expense categories that must be controlled by the management.

There is six steps included in the food cost control process:

1. Categorize the food expenses

Restaurants keep track on the expenses spent on each ingredient that goes into each dish. They break down the food items into different categories and set standard to govern how much to spend in each category.

2. Comparison shop to find better pricing

Maintain solid, ongoing relationships with food suppliers and distributors in order to stay informed of cost-effective alternatives. Lookout for more economical suppliers and order from those who offer the best deals. However, the restaurants also need to ensure the bargain pricing does not sacrifice the products quality.

3. Measure all ingredients in food-preparation procedures

The food-preparation workers need to properly measure ingredients. The amount of ingredients used should be same with the amount stated in the recipe to avoid wasting of ingredients.

4. Adjust the menu or prices accordingly

The menu or prices needed to be adjusted accordingly when using seasonal ingredients. The price of some ingredients may increase and decrease according to season. Therefore, some restaurants will limit the sales or adjust the menu price of seasonal items to periods when the ingredients are expensive.

5. Rotate the stock to reduce waste

Most restaurants order additional stock before the ingredient is used up to prevent shortages. It’s important for a restaurant to rotate such items to prevent the previously purchased items are expired and become unusable. All items are labelled and those related information is clearly recorded, such as shipment date, expiration date etc. Those newer shipments should be placed behind the unused items in dry-stock and refrigeration-storage areas.

6. Design specials that reduce waste and use slow-moving stock

The restaurant can make use of soon-to-expire foods by including them in specials. Meal specials are typically offered for a limited time at a bargain price to attract customers to buy them. Using soon-to-expire ingredients for preparing specials can reduce the waste of ingredients due to expiry.

Schreiner, E. (n.d.). What Kind of Sales Forecasting to Use on a Restaurant?. Retrieved October 30, 2015 from

Renee, M. (n.d.). How to Control COGS in a Restaurant. Retrieved October 30, 2015 from


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