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What is Labour Forecasting and Why it Matters?

  • Published on : 16/04/2021

What is Labour Forecasting and Why it Matters?

Restaurateurs are often plagued by a common problem. Even though they analyze and plan their resources well, many times, they are overburdened. Restaurants face this because they tend to sideline the importance of labour forecasting.

Labour forecasting is a process where the entire labour force is planned meticulously, and well ahead of time. Labour forecasting takes the help of data analysis systems in order to ensure maximum productivity. And when such a scheduling process is done over a large period of time, any and all lacks in the labour force can be easily noticed.

With a cutting edge labour forecasting system, any business can achieve a host of advantages. This is why companies are actively taking to data-oriented systems when it comes to labour management.

If you are facing issues with ensuring in-depth labour planning and all the woes that it brings, here is how a labour forecasting system can help you.

1. Manage capacity and demand

Labour forecasting is not simply a method of looking into how you can manage your employees well. Rather, it provides deep knowledge of your businesses capacity and demand at any point in time. The inability to meet demand can either lie in not being able to understand the level of demand, or inaccurate labour force utilization. With labour forecasting, you will be able to get rid of both these issues,

The direct result of this is an overall increment in the efficiency level of your business.  So, not only do you get to manage your staff, but you also get to increment it. This will further translate into growth in income as well. Labour forecasting is a win-win in all situations.

Also Read: Understanding table management to ensure efficient capacity management.

2. Ensure employee satisfaction

Rushing deadlines means overworking your team. But if the employees are having to overwork only at certain points in the delivery schedule, then the problem is not with a sudden spike in demand. Rather, it either means your employees are insufficient to meet the current level of demand, or the more common analysis, that your employees are not working at a steady rate which can ensure higher efficiency.

Overworked employees are never happy employees. But once you manage their work schedules and cycles in such a manner that all demand is taken care of, then their professional satisfaction levels are bound to rise. This allows you to increase your employee retention levels as well.

3. Gain competitive advantage

Labour forecasting ensures satisfaction on two fronts. First, you have happy employees since they are not being overworked, and secondly, you have happy customers because the food reaches the diners on time. As a result, your business grows and you are able to drive home more profit.

This then translates to better salaries and pay hikes for your employees, further ensuring motivation to work. There is perhaps no better competitive edge than a motivated workforce. And with professional labour forecasting, you can achieve this with ease.

4. Gain administrative ease

The role of a restaurateur is to guide the business on the right path. This can often be a massive task, especially when the role of each individual employee needs to be assigned and the entire schedule created manually. If you think a spreadsheet can help you, then you are simply taking baby steps. With a labour forecasting system in place, the entire process can be analyzed via data resources and decisions can be taken automatically. 

This not only frees up your schedule for strategic initiatives but also allows you to cater to the more important aspects of your business. As a result the entire system performs better overall. 

5. Important aspects of labour forecasting

Now that you know the acute benefits of using a labour forecasting system, you are likely to go ahead and get one for your business. But before you do that here are some aspects of it that you should know about.

6. Choosing the right system

When it comes to a labour forecasting system you need to look at it as you would any planner. It needs to allow you to forecast over a period of months but should also provide a day to day and shift to shift breakdown of the employee roles. It should also be user-friendly and allow for multiple forms of analytical options. Furthermore, a labour forecasting system should allow the user to make changes to it at any point in time and the rest of the schedule should be updated automatically.

7. Customize it

A labour planning software should be customizable. Every restaurant business has its unique requirements and workforce necessities. The forecasting system you choose should be able to provide the necessary options to tweak it as per your needs. Be it break timings or predictive scheduling, ensure that all necessary options are available before selecting the labour forecasting system. If you are unsure about the options that you will need, analyze your current lack of scheduling and see where you are going wrong.

8. Performance Evaluation

You should be able to enter your KPIs into the system and allow it to provide you recommendations regarding the labour scheduling process. This is highly important as this is where you will actually be able to save both time and resources. Data-driven forecasting is the future of business management and this will provide you with a competitive edge like no other.

Final thoughts

The entire labour scheduling process is extremely important to any business. It not only ensures that the business remains on a steady ground but also keeps a constant inflow of demand. Businesses that face problems with employee forecasting are bound to face a dip in profit margins sooner or later.

Labour forecasting systems are truly the future of business management. Many restaurants across the world have been able to achieve massive success with their usage and this is truly a software that all restaurateurs should use.

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