Restaurant operators report softer sales and traffic levels.
The National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) declined in August to 101.5, down 1.2 percent from July. The National Restaurant Association attributes softer same-store sales and customer traffic levels to the decline in the monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry.
The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), stood at 101.4 in August – down 2.3 percent from July. Key data points from the Current Situation Index include:
- Fifty-six percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between August 2014 and August 2015, down from 73 percent who reported higher sales in July. In comparison, 32 percent of operators reported a same-store sales decline in August, up from 16 percent in July.
- Forty-one percent of restaurant operators reported an increase in customer traffic between August 2014 and August 2015, down from 59 percent who reported higher traffic in July. Thirty-seven percent of operators said their traffic declined in August, up from 23 percent in July.
- Sixty-three 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 101.6 in August – down slightly from a level of 101.7 in July. Key data points from the Expectations Index include:
- Forty-four percent of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in six months (compared to the same period in the previous year), up from 40 percent who reported similarly last month. Twelve 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, while 44 percent expect their sales to remain about the same.
- Only 22 percent of restaurant operators said they expect economic conditions to improve in 6 months, while 21 percent expect conditions to worsen. This came on the heels of net negative readings in the previous two months.
- Sixty percent of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next six months, down from 66 percent who reported similarly last month.