Published on Thursday, 01 August 2013
Written by The Editors
Same-store sales and customer traffic remained positive; Restaurant operators generally optimistic about sales growth in the months ahead.
The National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) stood at 101.3 in June, down 0.5 percent from May's level of 101.8. Despite the decline, June represented the fourth consecutive month that the RPI — a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry — exceeded the 100 level, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.
The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), stood at 100.7 in June — down 0.9 percent from a level of 101.6 in May. Despite the decline, the Current Situation Index stood at more than 100 for the third consecutive month, which signifies expansion in the current situation indicators.
Although a majority of restaurant operators reported higher same-store sales in June, the results were somewhat softer than the solid May results. Key data points from the Current Situation Index include:
- Fifty-two percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between June 2012 and June 2013, down from 63 percent who reported higher sales in May. In comparison, 34 percent of operators reported a decline in same-store sales in June, up from 23 percent in May.
- Forty-three percent of restaurant operators reported higher customer traffic levels between June 2012 and June 2013, while 39 percent of operators said their traffic declined. In May, 47 percent of operators reported an increase in customer traffic, while 30 percent reported lower traffic levels.
- Fifty-two percent of operators say they made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling during the last three months, unchanged from the proportion who reported similarly last month.
The Expectations Index, which measures restaurant operators' 6-month outlook for 4 industry indicators (same-store sales, employees, capital expenditures and business conditions), stood at 102.0 in June – holding steady at the 12-month high registered in May. Each of the four expectations indicators stood at more than 100 for the sixth consecutive month, which indicates broad-based optimism for business conditions in the months ahead. Key data points include:
- Forty-six percent of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in 6 months (compared to the same period in the previous year), essentially unchanged from the 47 percent who reported similarly last month. Meanwhile, only 11 percent of restaurant operators expect their sales volume in six months to be lower than it was during the same period in the previous year, compared to 8 percent last month.
- Fifty-nine percent of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next 6 months, up slightly from 57 percent who reported similarly last month.
- Twenty-five percent of operators plan to increase staffing levels in 6 months (compared to the same period in the previous year) while 14 percent said they plan to cut positions.