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ABSTRACT. Small business entrepreneurs like restaurant owners are at the constant mercy of fluctuating demand patterns. Many independent restaurateurs suffer from poor collection of data, limited resources, and lack of knowledge to build sophisticated forecasting models. They often use simple rules of thumb or simple moving averages to create naïve forecasts that do not serve them well. In this paper, we introduce a case with data from a small independent restaurant to show how they can use spreadsheet software like Excel to build a robust forecasting model that captures the trend and seasonality of their data. We analyze different forecasting models and compare the effectiveness of each using Mean Square Error (MSE). pp. 84–109

Keywords: time series forecasting; small business; restaurant; case research study

JEL codes: A22; C53; C80

CAROLINIANA S. PADGETT
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Francis Marion University
MARIE DEVINCENZO
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Francis Marion University
JOHNATHAN MUNN
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Francis Marion University
HARI K RAJAGOPALAN
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Francis Marion University

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