Projection Futility

For her weekly Portland Daily Sun column Natalie Ladd looks at the futility of trying to predict when a restaurant will be busy or not.

These things are in addition to the obvious method of comparing sales and head counts. I’ve seen many places with flow charts and graphs, all intended to make food and alcohol ordering, and doing the kitchen and front-of-the house schedule a snap. Contrary to all the “what ifs” and basic common sense, these things just don’t always hold true when predicting how busy it’s going to be. In other words, betting on the timing of the financial peaks and pitfalls of the restaurant business would be foolish for a gambler and chalk up a win for the house at Oxford Casino.