Restaurant Performance Index Remains Near Record High

The National Restaurant Association’s monthly Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) posted a 0.8 percent decline in May but remains near record levels.

The rating measures the overall health of the restaurant industry. An RPI greater than 100 indicates a period of expansion for the market while values less than 100 indicate contraction. To determine the monthly RPI, the NRA looks at two components: the Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in same-store sales, traffic, labor, and capital expenditures; and the Expectations Index, which measures operators’ outlook for the next six months.

The RPI stood at 105.5 in May, down from 106.3 the previous month. A majority of restaurant operators reported positive same-store sales, 85 percent, and higher customer traffic, 80 percent, compared to May 2020. However, while conditions have improved substantially since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are not as impressive when compared to the same period in 2019. Only 45 percent of operators said their sales in May 2021 were higher than in May 2019, while 49 percent reported lower sales.

Still, the pandemic rebound is causing more operators to plan for the future. The report found that 63 percent of operators made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling during the past three months – the highest reading in nearly three years. Meanwhile, 69 percent of operators are planning to make a capital expenditure sometime in the next six months, marking four consecutive months with readings above 60 percent.

To read the complete report, please click here.