Monthly Measurement of Industry’s Health Hits Eight-Month High

Higher same-store sales and increased customer traffic lifted the National Restaurant Association’s monthly Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) to an eight-month high.

The RPI for November was 101.9, up 0.7 percent from 101.1 in October. The RPI is a measurement of the overall health of the restaurant industry. Any value greater than 100 represents growth, while less than 100 signify contraction.

According to the NRA, nearly one-half of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales within the next six months. For the second consecutive month, a majority of operators reported higher same-store sales, with 68 percent seeing a sales increase between November 2018 and November 2019. That was a 13 percent increase from the number reported in October and represented the highest level of operators reporting a same-store sales increase in nearly two years.

Coinciding with the sales increase, 49 percent of operators reported an increase in customer traffic from November 2018 to November 2019, an increase of five percent compared to October. Meanwhile, the number of operators reporting a traffic decrease fell by 3 percent to 32 percent, the lowest level in eight months.

The positive results have most operators planning to make investments in their business in the coming months. The report states that 58 percent of restaurants plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion, or remodeling in the next six months, down slightly from 61 percent in October.