Fifty-nine percent of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure in the next six months, according to the survey.
The National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) — a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 100.6 in January, up 1.0 percent from December and its highest level since August 2012. In addition, January represented the first time in 4 months that the RPI exceeded 100, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.
"Although the current situation indicators were mixed in January, restaurant operators were decidedly more optimistic about sales growth and the economy in the months ahead," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. "Operators' outlook for same-store sales, capital spending and the overall economy all improved, which propelled the Expectations Index to its highest level in eight months."
The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), stood at 99.7 in January — up 0.6 percent from December's level. Although restaurant operators reported net positive same-store sales results in January, softness in the customer traffic and labor indicators outweighed the performance, which resulted in a Current Situation Index reading below 100 for the fifth consecutive month.
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 101.6 in January – up 1.3 percent from December's level.
Key data points from the Expectations Index include: