Same-store sales increases help drive the restaurant industry performance upward.
The National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) climbed to 100.6 in March, a 0.7 percent increase from February. March represented the second time in three months that the monthly composite index of key economic factors exceeded 100, signaling a period of expansion for the restaurant industry.
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 March, a 1.5 percent increase from February. Key data points from the Current Situation Index include:
- Forty-four percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between March 2012 and March 2013, while 37 percent of operators reported lower sales.
- Thirty-four percent of restaurant operators reported higher customer traffic levels between March 2012 and March 2013, while 42 percent of operators said their traffic declined.
- Fifty-one percent of operators said they made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling during the last three months, up from 48 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 101.4 in March – unchanged from February's level. Key data points from the Expectations Index include:
- Forty-four percent of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in six months. Fifteen 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, essentially unchanged from 14 percent last month.
- Thirty-two percent of restaurant operators said they expect economic conditions to improve in six months, up from 25 percent last month. Twenty percent of operators said they expect economic conditions to worsen in the next six months, unchanged from the previous two months.