Note: This article refers to data that is displayed for customers using the HotSchedules add-on feature called activity based forecasting.
HotSchedules managers using activity based forecasting generate labor based on their forecast projections and labor rules, which are configured by their company administrators in the Above Store Console. Depending on the settings used by the company, house shifts or a recommendation of hours can be generated from the forecast each week to schedule. Essentially it follows the following process:
- Store level managers generate their forecast projections on the Forecasting tab in their HotSchedules site. They choose multiple weeks based on their trends, and the sales and labor drivers (guest counts, table counts, etc) that we received for those weeks are averaged to generate the projections. See this article for more details.
- Forecasting labor rules are generated and managed in the Above Store Console. Generally, administrators on the account will have this access. They configure these rules to apply to the projections generated by the store level managers in Step 1. For example, a labor rule may say that for every 4 tables projected, you need 1 server scheduled.
- Labor Rules and shift restriction settings (like the maximum/minimum length of scheduled shifts) are applied to the forecast projections to generate Forecasted Labor. Forecasted labor is reflected in the house shifts or recommendation of hours generated from a completed forecast. It suggests shifts for you to schedule that follow the labor rules, but it schedules realistic shifts according to the settings.
Optimal Labor is calculated based on the same principles as forecasted labor except it is calculated with actual data rather than projections. So the actual labor driver data that we receive for each day (guest counts, table counts, etc) is run through the labor rules and shift restriction settings. This shows what shifts should have been scheduled if we would have known exactly how busy the business would have been.
Since Optimal Labor is calculated with actual labor rather than projections, these cannot be calculated until AFTER we have received the data from the previous day. So, we will never see optimals for days in the future.