Restaurant Performance Index - April

Blog Post

The Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) is a monthly index that tracks the health and outlook of the U.S. restaurant industry. The National Restaurant Association, the world’s largest food-service trade group, publishes the index results on the last business day of each month.

The RPI has two equally weighted components:

  • The Current Situation Index measures changes in same-store sales, customer traffic, the total number of total employees and their average hours worked, as well as capital spending. Each metric is tracked versus the year-ago month.
  • The Expectations Index reflects a six-month outlook for same-store sales relative to the same period the previous year; an outlook for the changes in the number of employees needed in the next six months; capital spending plans; and business operators’ feelings about overall business conditions.

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.

April 30, 2019 RPI

Buoyed by stronger same-store sales and customer traffic levels, the RPI registered a healthy gain in March 2019. The RPI stood at 101.9 in March, up 0.9 percent from February.

The Current Situation Index stood at 101.8 in March – up 1.5 percent from a level of 100.3 in February. The healthy March increase came on the heels of three consecutive declines in the Current Situation Index. 

The Expectations Index stood at 102.1 in March – up 0.3 percent from a level of 101.8 in February.  March represented the fourth consecutive increase in the Expectations Index, which propelled the forward-looking component to its highest level in 11 months.

Business conditions for the restaurant industry are projected to remain generally positive in 2019. According to the National Restaurant News’ April 15, 2019 Report, 5 of 6 restaurant segments have grown average annual same-store sales in the latest completed fiscal year:

Fast Casual  1.7%
Quick Service  1.4%
Family Dining  1.2%
Casual Dining  0.8%
Coffee/Snack  0.7%
Pizza  (1.0%)

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