Forecasting Covers in Hotel Food and Beverage Outlets

Research indicates that a lodging property can generally use information on its occupancy to improve the accuracy of cover forecasts in its food and beverage outlets.

The study was conducted using four hotels that have a total of thirty-three combinations of food and beverage outlets and dayparts. The food and beverage outlets include room service, lounges, cafés, and main restaurants. Since there was extensive historical data from one of the properties, that was split into two samples, giving a total of forty-one outlet-daypart scenarios. In all of the cases an eight-week holdback data set was used to test the models.

In thirty-four of the forty-one outlet-daypart scenarios, the best forecast originated with one or another of the models incorporating occupancy data. On average, forecast accuracy improved by over 11 percent when using occupancy data. In those thirty-four cases where using occupancy data improved the forecasts, the average improvement in accuracy was over 14 percent, while the accuracy improvement exceeded 25 percent in seven of the scenarios.