Seventy-Six Percent of Operators Recently Spent on Equipment, Expansion or Remodeling

The number of operators that made a recent capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling matched an all-time high, according to the latest monthly Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) from the National Restaurant Association.

Seventy-six percent of operators reported making a capital expenditure during the past three months, up from 67 percent from the previous report. The mark equaled October 2015 as the highest reading in the nearly 20-year history of the RPI.

While equipment sales are trending upward, the overall RPI dipped 0.2 percent in July. The RPI was 105.4 for the month as operators continued to report higher same-store sales and customer traffic levels. However, it should be noted that the strong results are compared to a year ago when the foodservice industry was still largely shut down because of COVID-19 restrictions.

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 National Restaurant Association 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 Current Situation Index was 106.3 in July, an increase of 0.5 percent, while the Expectations Index was 104.5, the lowest level in six months. The National Restaurant Association noted that although operators have a positive outlook for both sales and capital expenditures, they are less bullish about the direction of the overall economy.

To read the full RPI report, please click here.