Operators overcome uncertain business environment to keep moving forward.
The National Restaurant Association's July Restaurant Performance Index posted a score of 100.2 in July, down 1.1 percent from June and the lowest level in nine months. Ironically, July also marked the ninth consecutive month of reported expansion among this index of key industry indicators.
The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), stood at 99.8 in July – down 1.7 percent from June's level of 101.5. Here are a few key data points from the July Situation Index:
- Fifty-three percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between July 2011 and July 2012, down from eight percent from June. In comparison, 36 percent of operators reported lower same-store sales in July, up sharply 12 percent from the previous month.
- Thirty-five percent of restaurant operators reported higher customer traffic levels between July 2011 and July 2012, down from 50 percent who reported positive traffic in June. Meanwhile, 46 percent of operators reported lower customer traffic levels in July, up from 29 percent in June.
- Forty-six percent of operators said they made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling during the last three months, down only two percent from 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 100.7 in July – down 0.6 percent from June and the fourth consecutive monthly decline. Key data points from the Expectations Index include:
- Forty-two percent of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in six months (compared to the same period in the previous year), down from 50 percent who reported similarly last month. And 15 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, up from 13 percent last month.
- Forty-nine percent of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next six months, down slightly from 51 percent who reported similarly last month.