Important Note: If your Organization utilizes the Smart Ops Release, review this Hourly Forecasting training article.

Once the Labor Matrix is setup and the Sales Forecast is complete, the Labor Forecast is ready to be generated. The Hourly Forecasting screen uses the Sales Ticket data from your POS to determine how the Sales Forecast you have created for your Location is likely to be distributed throughout the hours of the day. 

Hourly Forecasting can be customized to further display expected increases in Sales, and therefore, in Labor. User-created day parts set on the 'Day Parts' tab of the Labor Matrix will appear on this screen to assist in customizing the forecast. Once Approved, a forecast will then be posted to the Schedule to ensure that the correct amount of Employees are working the correct amount of hours allocated for each Job.

Review the Custom Labor Forecasting Security Roles to ensure that you have the correct access to forecasting Labor for your Location.

Important Note

Ensure that your Locations are ready for Hourly Forecasting by completing these steps.

Forecast Grid Actions

1) Labor Forecast for - The week that will be forecasted. To select the correct week, navigate through the weeks by clicking the arrows displayed before and after the listed week or click the date and use the pop-up calendar and clicking 'Ok'

  • Note: Days that have passed will be greyed out and cannot be edited

2) Locations - The Location forecasting Labor. Select or type in the correct Location

3) Launch Labor Matrix - This will open the selected Location's Labor Matrix

4) Launch Scheduler - This will open the selected Location's Schedule Calendar

5) Refresh - This button refreshes the screen

6) Generate - This button will create a Custom Labor Forecast based on the Forecasted Sales Data and the Labor Matrix. When clicked, this button will be replaced with the Reset/Delete, Save, and Approve buttons, as shown below:

  • Reset / Delete- The 'Reset' button will be functionable when the generated forecast is edited. This button will then revert the updated forecast to the original generated forecast. If a forecast has been Approved before, it will be reset back to the last Approved version. The 'Delete button, which can be viewed by clicking the down arrow within the 'Reset' button, will delete the generated forecast entirely 
    • Note: This function cannot be undone
  • Save - This button will Save any updates made to the Labor Forecast. When a forecast is saved, the details of who and when will be listed as a time stamp for reference and an 'Unapproved Changes' alert will appear above the grid

  • Approve - This button will Approve the Labor Forecast. Once approved, the forecast will be transferred to the Schedule and a time stamp will be listed to show who and when approved the forecast

Creating a Forecast

To begin a forecast, first navigate to 'Hourly Forecasting' under 'Scheduling' in the Scheduling module. The Hourly Forecasting grid will fill the screen where you will select the week that needs forecasting. 

  • Note: Days that have passed will be greyed out and cannot be edited.

Review the selected week's Sales Forecasts for any discrepancies or 'Incomplete' forecasts and, if found, click the Navigational Linkto navigate to Daily Forecasting, if Custom Sales Forecasting is enabled, or Smart Forecasting, if Custom Sales Forecasting is not enabled. Create and save your Sales Forecast and return back to the Hourly Forecasting grid where your saved Forecast will now be listed.

Click  and the grid will populate.

1) Forecast - The Sales and Labor forecast for the date listed

  • Sales - This is the Sales Forecast configured by either the Daily Forecast or Smart Forecasting
  • Labor - This is the Labor Forecast configured by the the Labor Matrix and based on the Sales Forecast. The amount displayed is the number of Employees needed per hour totaled for that day

2) Variance - The difference between the amount forecasted and the amount entered in the Labor Forecast grid. One of two options will be displayed:

  • +/- Amount - The amount increased or decreased from the original number forecasted. This amount is displayed in red. For Sales data, +/-$1 is typical due to rounding
  • Check Mark - No difference exists between the forecasted amount and the actual amount

3) Hourly Forecast - The amount forecasted for that hour. The hour slots outside of Operating Hours should be grayed out

  • Sales- This amount is based on the following calculation, which is explained in the example of forecasting labor for 3 pm to 4 pm on a given Wednesday:
    • Total all Sales tickets from between 3 pm to 4 pm on the 8 prior Wednesdays ($1,084.35)
    • Divide this sum by Total Sales for all 8 prior Wednesdays ($34,026.55)
    • Take the resulting percentage (3.19%) and multiply it by the day's Sales Forecast for the Wednesday being forecasted ($3,223)
    • Round the result ($102.81) to the nearest dollar
    • Display the rounded result ($103) on the Labor Forecast for the 3 pm hour on Wednesday
  • Labor - The number of Employees that need to be working for that hour, based on the Labor Matrix and the Sales Forecasted for that hour

4) Day Parts - The created Daypart names and times for each day, depending on the Daypart structure set up on the 'Day Parts' tab of the Labor Matrix

5) Reset / Delete - The 'Reset' button will function when the generated forecast has been edited. Click this button to revert the updated forecast to the original generated forecast. To remove the generated forecast entirely, click the down arrow next to 'Reset' and then click 'Delete'

  • Note: This function cannot be undone

6) Save - This button will Save any updates made to the Labor Forecast 

7) Approve - This button will Approve the Labor Forecast. Once Approved, the forecast will be transferred to the Schedule

Review both the Sales and Labor forecasts that populated the screen. If a certain day's forecasts need to be further adjusted, continue on to the following section. When you are satisfied with the forecast, click 'Save' or 'Approve', depending on your Security Role.

  • Note: Approving a forecast will post it to the Schedule Calendar. Additional edits can be made and re-Approved after an initial forecast is complete.

Customizing an Hourly Forecast

An Hourly Forecast can be further customized to reflect a predicted fluctuation in Sales, such as a holiday rush or coupon drop.

To do this, click the amount of Hourly Sales and Labor forecasts and adjust accordingly by typing in a new amount. Any changes made will be displayed in blue and reflected in the variance. Hovering over an hourly Sales and Labor forecast will display the original amount listed.

When a customized Hourly Forecast is Approved, the updated amounts will still be reflected in the Sales Variance, but not the Labor Variance, as that has now been marked as Approved with a check mark.

Hourly Entree Forecast

If the Variable Labor Matrix is set to use Entrees instead of Sales, an additional row displaying the Entree Forecast will be displayed. 

The Entree Forecast is generated based on an Entree Modifier that is applied to the Forecasted Sales Amount. For this reason, the Entree Forecast is not editable; however, editing the Forecasted Sales Amount will update the Entree Forecast.