Driven by stronger same-store sales and customer traffic levels, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) registered a moderate increase in November. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 101.8 in November, up 0.5 percent from a level of 101.2 in October. Growth in the RPI was buoyed by the same-store sales and customer traffic indicators, which both improved for the second consecutive month.

Looking forward, restaurant operators are generally optimistic about sales growth in the coming months, while their plans for capital expenditures also ticked higher. However, restaurant operators’ outlook for the overall economy slipped to its lowest level in over two years.

The RPI is constructed so that the health of the restaurant industry is measured in relation to a neutral level of 100. Index values above 100 indicate that key industry indicators are in a period of expansion, while index values below 100 represent a period of contraction for key industry indicators.

The Restaurant Performance Index consists of two components – the Current Situation Index and the Expectations Index. Current Situation Index Increased 1.3 Percent in November to a Level of 102.2; Expectations Index Dipped 0.2 Percent to a Level of 101.4. The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), stood at 102.2 in November – up 1.3 percent from a level of 102.2 in October.

November represented the second consecutive gain in the Current Situation Index, which increased to its highest level since August. 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 101.4 in November – down slightly from a level of 101.6 in October. The Expectations Index trended sideways in recent months, as restaurant operators remain uncertain about business conditions.

Read the full RPI report.

Source: National Restaurant Association