A Guide To Restaurant Sales Forecasting: How To Do It

Posted by Priya December 2, 2021 Online Ordering

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Restaurant sales forecasting plays a vital role in making a decision in a restaurant.Restaurants must conduct sales forecasts to identify the right time to open a restaurant in a perfect location and manage inventory and calculate online food ordering. Schedule orders and administrate the employees by alternating shifts for every two weeks that helps in predicting the profits. 

How To Create Restaurant Sales Forecast

To achieve the restaurant business goals, the calculation of performance metrics becomes an essential part of the competitive world. Instead of calculating the sales forecast with a formula, restaurants can integrate with online food ordering systems that support easy accessibility to the sales data with analytics reports.

Estimate Your Restaurant’s Daily Capacity

The sales forecast calculates from the restaurant set up, for example, if a restaurant contains 14 tables served with four seating capacity. 

On Friday evening, the restaurant functions with a full swing of all the 14 tables filled served for two turns. 

Now it is known that the restaurant kitchen must prepare 112 main courses to satisfy the diners with the calculation of 14 tables x 4 customers x 2 turns = 112 main courses.

The sales forecast for the restaurant is given with a calculation as follows.

Sales Forecast = Table count X Seat Allotment X Average ticket size X Table turn

Sales Forecast= 14 Tables x 4 Guests per Table x $30 per Guest x 2 Turnser Night

Sales Forecast = 14 x 4 x 30 x 2

Sales Forecast = $3,360

Thus the sales forecast for the Friday evening of the restaurant is $3,360.

Restaurants can implement the calculation process during the slow and half-filled days or a single evening shift for the entire year.  

Forecasting for restaurants offers a clear vision of the best and worst-case scenarios every day, which compares the actual sales with the estimated sales. 

At times, the sales predictions may exceed the speculated level, or it may fall short under the predictions, which helps restaurants focus towards the right pathway. 

Conduct Sales Forecasts Using Sales Data

Online ordering systems possess pre-calculation metrics to perform sales forecasts. A detailed analytics report of the restaurant helps the restaurateurs find out the peak sales hour and highly demanded food item of the customer over the years of restaurant service. 

Integrate your restaurant with a food ordering app that offers deep insights about past, present, and future sales without referring to a sales log.

Why Is It Necessary To Forecast Restaurant Sales?

Restaurant data analysis supports the restaurant owners to make business decisions over stock management, staffing, and restaurant expansion based on the previous sales reports, which facilitate the effective running of the restaurant business for the long term.

Control Inventory Purchases

Sales forecast gives the historical sales volume over the same time on any year, month, or week, which empowers restaurants to have complete control over the inventory purchase and eliminates the chance of food wastage. 

Thus inventory projections help you avoid running out of food items even on a busy Friday dinner with the precise calculation never-ending up, under, or over the stock purchase.

Achieve Sales Targets Based On Seasonal Predictions

Sales forecasting for restaurants predicts sales volume based on hot or cold weather conditions, festive seasons, events, and holidays. The previous winter sales forecast data assist restaurants in finding out the price fluctuation of food items during cold and hot weather conditions. Now the restaurants can prepare themselves with the right staffing and food supplies.

Manage Workforce

The proper functioning of a restaurant depends on the recruitment of the right employee with wages. Restaurant staff salary in sales forecast is the major expense spent by the restaurant, which assists restaurants to take staffing decisions. 

For example, on Wednesdays, restaurants are crowded with customers, then restaurants must assign extra staff to serve better to the customers. But on low sales, restaurants can utilize a small team for carrying out restaurant tasks, which is a budget-friendly approach for restaurants. 

A good sales forecast helps identify the average daily customer turnover and how the restaurant must prepare to face the seasonal fluctuations with the cost-effective approach.

Predictions About Revenue Generation

A restaurant can succeed if it can predict the amount of revenue generated for a given period. Sales volume assists restaurateurs to fix the price for the food items and move forward with the plans to develop the restaurant. 

Sales forecasting for restaurants supports identifying the slow sales period of a year and postpone the purchase of heavy equipment or recruitment of new staff or restaurant renovation that offers a consistent progression of the business. 

The detailed forecast plan supports the investors to understand your restaurant marketing strategy to succeed the business aiding easy financial assistance for growing the business.

How To Make A Sales Forecast Model  For A Restaurant?

Restaurateurs must possess mathematical skills to compute the statistics of restaurant revenue, which helps to maximize sales. The sales forecast for the newly opened restaurant will not be available unless restaurateurs converse with other business owners about the menu pricing. In a popular restaurant, the sales forecast data will be available to create a revenue forecasting model.

The basic formula of the sales forecast model is

A(n*fm) + B(n*dm) = C;


  • A – indicates the number of covers, and n shows the total number of diners having their meal on a table.
  • Fm – indicates the average predicted food sales.
  • B shows the number of covers, and n is the number of diners served on a table.
  • Dm is the average drink sales forecasted.
  • C specifies the projected sales.

The sales forecast for food and beverage depends on the above factors. For example, if a restaurant can serve 13 covers with the average customer spend on the food item is $20 and $ 5 on beverages will give the projected sales value as

A(14 x 20) + B(14 x 5)=$350 =C

The sales forecast model assists restauranteurs in finding out the customer spend pattern on a daily or weekly, or yearly basis. For instance, customers place more orders on lunch than on breakfast. Similarly, people prefer more drinks at dinner time than at lunchtime and customers place more orders on weekends than over the weekdays.

For example, if a restaurant functions for 6 days with a one-day holiday, operates on full capacity for two days, half seated for 2 days, and the remaining two days fall in between the low & high ranges. 

This process helps to populate the table with the data and identifies the daily seat outline of the restaurant with the customers spending more on dinner than at the lunch hour. 

With this sales forecast restaurants, can scale their predictions to yearly or monthly, adding extra information such as seasonal and festive occasions, holidays, and special offer days.

What Frequency Should I Forecast Restaurant Sales?

Restaurants must calculate sales forecasts and identify how the actual sales match with the expected sales every month. But changes in the total number of seats or change in working hours, or the change in the prices of the food items to view the sales forecast when you are going to implement something new to the restaurant. 

Thus it helps the restaurant progress from the basic model to the next level to decide on restaurant expansion or refurbishment of the restaurant considering various factors such as market changes, seasonal patterns, competitor pricing, and promotions.


In recent days, sales forecasting has become an unavoidable ingredient to spicy up restaurant sales. Many factors affect the constant restaurant revenue, and these factors need a resolving solution using the sales forecast data for every day. 

Sales forecasting for restaurants controls inventory purchase, administrates profit expectations, and schedules the staff shift.

Author Bio


Priya is a passionate writer and enjoys writing articles about software, technology, and marketing. Through her informative blogs, she regularly discovers new tips and tricks that drive sales for restaurants.

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