As a result of softer readings in both the current situation and forward-looking indicators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) fell sharply in April. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 100.1 in April, down 1.8 percent from a level of 101.9 in March.

April’s RPI decline was the result of broad-based softening in both the current situation and expectations indicators. Although same-store sales readings were slightly positive in April, customer traffic turned negative. In addition, restaurant operators are less optimistic about both sales growth and the overall economy.

The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators, stood at 99.7 in April – down 2.1 percent from a level of 101.8 in March. The sharp April decline gave back all of the gains registered in March, and dropped the Current Situation Index to its lowest level since January 2018. 

The Expectations Index, which measures restaurant operators’ six-month outlook for four industry indicators, stood at 100.5 in April – down 1.5 percent from a level of 102.1 in March. April’s decline came on the heels of four consecutive gains in the Expectations Index, and represented its lowest level in nearly two years.

For more information about the RPI, visit

Source: National Restaurant Association