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Joe Carbonara

Double Dose of Disruption

Business leaders often look over their shoulders trying to find the next disruptive player or event that will shake up their organizations. Well, in a matter of weeks spanning August to the beginning of September, the foodservice industry got a double dose of disruption.


Juan Martinez

Electronic Ordering Insights

Kiosk ordering seems all the rage in today’s foodservice industry. While the process seems simple and intuitive for many consumers, implementation is another story. 


Jerry Stiegler

Retail Sales Up, Panda Restaurant Group Invests in Urbane Cafe, Pizza Hut Develops New Oven-Hot Delivery System, and More

Total retail sales rose in September, as did restaurant sales, per the U.S. Census Bureau. Pizza Hut has developed an improved pouch for delivery orders. Urbane Cafe has received a strategic investment from the founders of the Panda Restaurant Group. These stories and a whole lot more This Week in Foodservice.



November Restaurant Performance Index Remains in Growth Mode

Restaurant operators report positive same-store sales and customer traffic levels for November 2014.

The National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) reached 102.1 in November, representing a slight decline from October's level of 102.8. Despite the slight decline, this marks the 21st consecutive month in which the RPI exceeded 100, indicating expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

The RPI measures the health of the restaurant industry in relation to a steady-state level of 100. Index values that exceed 100 indicate a period of expansion for key industry indicators.

The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends among same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures, stood at 101.4 in November — down 1.6 percent from October's level of 103.1. Key data points from the Current Situation Index include:

  • Fifty-seven percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between November 2013 and November 2014. And 21 percent reported a same-store sales decline in November.
  • Forty-five percent of restaurant operators reported an increase in customer traffic between November 2013 and November 2014. Meanwhile, 30 percent of operators said their traffic declined in November.
  • Fifty-four percent of operators said they made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling during the last three months.

The Expectations Index, which measures restaurant operators' six-month outlook for same-store sales, employees, capital expenditures and business conditions, stood at 102.8 in November — up 0.3 percent from October's level of 102.5. Key factors from the Expectations Index include:

  • Fifty-seven percent of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in six months (compared to the same period in the previous year.
  • Forty-one percent of restaurant operators said they expect economic conditions to improve in six months.
  • Fifty-seven percent of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next six months.
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