Restaurant Performance Index Remains Above 100 for 7th Consecutive Month

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The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI), remained above 100 in May for the seventh consecutive month.Additionally, restaurant operators reported positive same-store sales for the 12th consecutive month.

The index is a monthly composite index that tracks the health and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry.Index values that are above 100 reflect that key industry indicators are in a period of expansion, while index values below 100 show a period of contraction.

61 percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between May 2011 and May 2012, up from 57 percent.Forty-six percent of operators said they made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling during the last three months, up slightly from 44 percent.For the eighth consecutive month, restaurant operators reported positive expectations for staffing growth in the months ahead. 20 percent of restaurant operators plan to increase staffing levels in six months (compared to the same period in the previous year), while only 8 percent said they expect to reduce staffing levels in six 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 102.0 in May – down slightly from April’s level of 102.2. May represented the ninth consecutive month that the Expectations Index stood above 100, which signifies a positive outlook among restaurant operators for business conditions in the coming months.

Restaurant operators are generally optimistic that their sales levels will improve in the months ahead. 48 percent of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in six months (compared to the same period in the previous year), down slightly from 52 percent who reported similarly last month. In comparison, only 8 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, unchanged from last month.

For the eighth consecutive month, restaurant operators reported positive expectations for staffing growth in the months ahead. 20 percent of restaurant operators plan to increase staffing levels in six months (compared to the same period in the previous year), while only 8 percent said they expect to reduce staffing levels in six months.

Along with a positive sales outlook, restaurant operators continue to plan for capital spending in the coming months. 55 percent of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next six months, up from 52 percent who reported similarly last month.

Posted by Markus Micheaels

08/07/12