Riding a wave of higher same-store sales, the National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) remained in positive territory in March – posting a score of 102.2.
While this represents a 0.4 point decline from February, the fact that the monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry is more than 100 indicates a period of expansion.
The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in 4 industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), stood at 101.8 in March. Here are some key data points from the Current Situation Index:
- Sixty-two percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between March 2014 and March 2015.
- Forty-five percent of restaurant operators reported an increase in customer traffic between March 2014 and March 2015.
- 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 102.6 in March. Key data points from the Expectations Index include:
- Fifty-nine percent of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in six months (compared to the same period in the previous year), unchanged from last month.
- Fifty-three percent of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next six months.