Restaurant Performance Index Hits Two-Year High in May

Positive results impact outlook for capital expenditures among foodservice operators.

The National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) hit 102.1 in May. In addition to being a 0.4 percent increase over April, this represents the RPI's highest level in more than 2 years.

"Positive sales results fueled the May increase in the RPI, as nearly two-thirds of restaurant operators said their same-store sales rose above year-ago levels," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. "In addition, restaurant operators are increasingly optimistic about continued sales gains in the months ahead, a sentiment that is also showing up in their capital expenditure plans."

The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), stood at 102.0 in May – up 0.7 percent from April. Key data points from the May Current Situation Index include:

  • Sixty-five percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between May 2013 and May 2014. Only 19 percent of operators reported a same-store sales decline in May.
  • Forty-seven percent of restaurant operators reported an increase in customer traffic levels between May 2013 and May 2014, while 29 percent reported a decline.
  • Fifty-three percent of operators said they made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling during the last three months, slightly less than the 56 percent who reported similarly last month.

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 102.2 in May — unchanged from April's level. Key data points from the expectations index include:

  • Fifty percent of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in six months (compared to the same period in the previous year). Only 8 percent of restaurant operators expect their sales volume in 6 months to be lower than it was during the same period the previous year.
  • Sixty-two percent of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next 6 months.

 

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