The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) is a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and the outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry. The Current Situation Index measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), while the Expectations Index measures restaurant operators’ six-month outlook for four industry indicators (same-store sales, employees, capital expenditures and business conditions). Values above 100 signal an Expansion, while values below 100 signal a Contraction.
This chart depicts restaurant operators’ reporting of same-store Sales versus the same month in the previous year. In November 2014, a majority of restaurant operators reported higher samestore sales in November, though results were somewhat softer than October’s strong performance. Fifty-seven percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between November 2013 and November 2014, down from 71 percent who reported higher sales in October. In comparison, 21 percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales decline in November, up from 11 percent in October.
The chart above shows restaurant operators’ outlook for sales volume in six months versus same period in previous year. In December 2014, a majority of restaurant operators said that they expect their sales to rise in the coming months with Fifty-seven percent of restaurant operators expecting to have higher sales in six months (compared to the same period in the previous year), up from 52 percent who reported similarly in October. Meanwhile, only 7 percent of restaurant operators expected their sales volume in six months to be lower than it was during the same period in the previous year, compared to 6 percent last month.
This chart outlines the outlook of restaurant operators for general economic conditions in six months. In December 2014, Forty-one percent of restaurant operators said they expect economic conditions to improve in six months, up from 35 percent from October and the highest level in nearly four years. Only 8 percent expect economic conditions to worsen in six months, while the remaining 51 percent expect economic conditions in six months to be about the same as they are now.