Same-store sales and customer traffic levels improved; operators are somewhat more bullish about sales growth and the economy.
The National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) reached 100.9 in October, its highest level in four months. The monthly composite index increased 0.7 percent compared to September.
"The RPI's October gain was driven by broad-based gains in the index components, most notably solid improvements in same-store sales and customer traffic," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the National Restaurant Association.
The RPI consists of two components – the Current Situation Index and the Expectations Index.
The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), stood at 100.9 in October. Key data points from the Current Situation Index include:
- Fifty-four percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between October 2012 and October 2013, up from 41 percent who reported higher sales in September. Only 30 percent of operators reported a decline in same-store sales in October, down from 40 percent in September.
- Forty-three percent of restaurant operators reported higher customer traffic levels between October 2012 and October 2013, up from 33 percent who reported a traffic gain in September. Meanwhile, 39 percent of operators reported a decline in customer traffic in October, down from 44 percent in September.
- Fifty-seven percent of operators said they made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling during the last three months, the sixth consecutive month in which a majority of operators reported expenditures.
The Expectations Index stood at 100.9 in October – up from 100.5 in September. Key data points from the Expectations Index include:
- Thirty-six percent of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in six months (compared to the same period in the previous year), up slightly from last month's 34 percent.
- Fifty-three percent of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next six months.