Stronger same-stores sales and customer traffic levels drove the National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) to a 0.5 increase in April. The monthly composite index of economic indicators for the restaurant industry stood at 102.7.
The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), stood at 102.9 in April – up 1.0 percent from March. Key data points from the Current Situation Index include:
- Seventy-one percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between April 2014 and April 2015, up from 62 percent who reported higher sales in March. Only 13 percent of operators reported a same-store sales decline in April.
- Fifty-five percent of restaurant operators reported an increase in customer traffic between April 2014 and April 2015, up from 45 percent who reported higher traffic in March. Twenty-five percent of operators said their traffic declined in April.
- Fifty-six 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 four industry indicators (same-store sales, employees, capital expenditures and business conditions), stood at 102.5 in April – essentially unchanged from a level of 102.6 in March. Key data points from the expectations index include:
- Fifty-two percent of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in six months (compared to the same period in the previous year), down from 59 percent from last month.
- Twenty-eight percent of restaurant operators said they expect economic conditions to improve in six months, down from 35 percent last month.
- Fifty-nine percent of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next six months, up from 53 percent who reported similarly last month.