Forty-nine percent of operators made a capital expenditure for equipment and other items in the last three months.
The National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) hit 101.4 in March, marking a 10-month high for the monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry. This represented a 0.9 percent increase from February's level of 100.5. In addition, the RPI remained above 100 for the 13th consecutive month, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.
"The solid March increase in the RPI was fueled by stronger sales and traffic levels, which bounced back from the weather-challenged results in recent months," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. "Looking forward, restaurant operators are increasingly optimistic about sales gains, and a majority plan to make capital expenditure in the next six months."
The Current Situation Index, which measures trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), stood at 100.8 in March – up 1.5 percent from February's level of 99.3. Key data points from the Current Situation Index include:
The Expectations Index, which measures restaurant operators' six-month outlook for four industry indicators (same-store sales, employees, capital expenditures and business conditions), stood at 102.0 in March — up 0.3 percent from February. Key data points from the Expectations Index include: