Restaurant operators have seen improving same-store sales and increases in customer traffic, triggering a rise in the Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) in October, 2010. The RPI, a monthly index that tracks the health and outlook of the U.S. restaurant industry, is the highest since 2007, sparking optimism from restaurant operators hit hard by the recession. Index values above 100 mean that key industry indicators are in a period of expansion, marking the first period of expansion after 37 months below 100 in the contraction range.
- The RPI stood at 100.7 in October, up 0.4% from September and at the strongest level since September 2007
- 43% of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in the next 6 months, and just 12% of restaurant operators expect their sales to be lower then in the same period last year
- 35% of operators expect economic conditions to improve in the next 6 months and 16% expect to increase staffing levels. It’s the first positive outlook of staffing gains in the past 6 months
- 48% of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure on equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next 6 months, which is the strongest level of capital expenditure in the past half year