It’s the challenging new normal. As a restaurateur, how do you plan to bring down costs? Unlike in earlier times, you just cannot afford wastage of food. In the current scenario, your restaurant menu can make a lot of difference in bringing down wastage. The survey by Technomic shows that 36% of restaurant operators plan to go for smaller menus that focus on core dishes. The menu items on the wall are visible. Now you need to emphasize more than ever on restaurant menu forecasting.
What is restaurant menu forecasting?
Restaurant menu forecasting is all about analyzing the demand of your customers, planning and developing your menu based on the customer demand. With accurate menu forecasting, now take decisions about the amount of each dish to be prepared and allocate employees and raw materials efficiently. Also, reducing wastage has its own perks. By forecasting the exact raw materials and other resources required for each dish, you can experience a significant reduction in wastage.
Restaurant menu forecasting techniques
Let’s delve deep into some of the popular techniques used in restaurant menu forecasting.
1. Popularity Index
A popularity index comes in handy while forecasting the items on your menu. It helps you find out the food items that are most popular among your diners.
The term popularity index stands for the percentage of total customers ordering a particular food item from a list of options. First, let’s see how you can calculate the popularity index.
Popularity Index = Total number of specific items sold / Total number of all items sold.
Wondering how to pull out the sales figure for each food item? All this and more is now possible with inresto POS, India’s leading digital, cloud-based restaurant management POS system. Just analyze the reports and view details on the sales volume of a particular dish, the total number of all the dishes sold at your restaurant, etc. As per your wish, retrieve these reports on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Due to the amazing benefits, nowadays, many restaurants are making use of the restaurant POS systems. As per the report by Grandviewresearch, in 2020, the size of the global restaurant POS terminal market was USD 15.46 billion. However, from 2021 to 2028, the market is expected to witness a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.4%.
How about controlling your food costs before the preparation of food items? Doesn’t it sound effective? That’s the advantage that pre-costing brings to you.
Pre-costing is a technique where you control your food items while forecasting the items on your menu. With this method, now you will be able to make better profits. As per pre-costing, you forecast the selling price of the items on your menu in advance. The major advantage is that it will help you cover the preparation cost.
As the first step, you need to calculate the food cost percentage. It’s simple. The term food cost percentage stands for the percentage of sales you spend on your food. With this technique, find out the base price well before pricing the dishes. Hence, the base price acts as a standard while pricing the various items on your menu.
Food Cost = Cost Of Goods Sold / Food Sales.
Now, quickly find out the amount of money you make while investing a certain amount in preparing a dish. It is recommended to keep your food cost within 28-30% of your selling price.
3. Volume forecasting
Assume that for the last Valentine’s Day in 2020, chocolate dessert was the most ordered item. Around 200 diners ordered that dish. The data will help you better forecast your menu for Valentine’s Day in 2021. The same concept works in volume forecasting. Based on the previous order volumes, you will be forecasting your menu. As part of this method, you will be making a note of the most requested food item. In the case of upcoming events, it will help you be better prepared.
The main objective of volume forecasting is to forecast the number of meals to be sold to avoid shortage and wastage. It will also help predict the choice of menu items by your diners. Now, purchasing of raw materials is made much smoother. It will also ensure that the food materials are readily available.
4. Applying technology for restaurant menu forecasting
Assume that you introduced a new Goan chicken curry to your restaurant menu. While launching, you might have had huge expectations. However, the item did not find favour among your diners. Similarly, on some days of the week, you might experience a huge rush at your restaurant. However, there are other days when the crowd is pretty low. Overstocking may lead to wastage which you cannot afford in the present scenario. At the same time, if you run short of food items, it may lead to customer disappointment. Hence the billion-dollar question is how to forecast your restaurant menu?
The answer is a digital restaurant management system. Apart from the reports mentioned earlier, the system offers you valuable insights. It ranges from the days of the week when the rush will be higher, the eating preferences of your diners, etc. Now, with the help of inresto Feedback, collect valuable feedback from your diners on their favourite dishes, items they didn’t like, etc. Based on their feedback, you can make changes to your menu accordingly. Focus more on the most selling dishes. Remove the ones that are not performing. Hence, no more hassles of inventory wastage and running out of stock.
Unlike the pre-Covid times, the focus of the restaurants nowadays is on cost-cutting. Hence, restaurant menu forecasting plays an important role in bringing down your costs. With manual efforts, getting insights into customer preferences is quite difficult. That’s where a restaurant POS system comes into the picture. It provides valuable insights, which makes the process of menu forecasting far easier. In addition to cutting down wastage, you can also experience significant cost savings.