Restaurant Performance Index increased 1.6% in October

The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) posted a healthy gain in October, as operators’ outlook for business conditions improved. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 104.5 in October, up 1.6% from a reading of 102.9 in September.  

Restaurant operators continued to report same-store sales and customer traffic levels above year-ago readings. Looking forward, restaurant operators are somewhat more optimistic about business conditions in the months ahead, which came on the heels of three consecutive months of declining sentiment.  

The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators, stood at 105.3 in October – up 1.0% from September. A solid majority of operators reported same-store sales and customer traffic above October 2020 levels, while capital spending activity remained strong.  

The Expectations Index, which measures restaurant operators’ six-month outlook for four industry indicators, stood at 103.8 – up 2.1% from the previous month and the first increase in four months. Each of the four expectations indicators improved during the November survey period, though operator optimism still remains somewhat dampened from the elevated levels during the first half of 2021.

Read the full RPI report.

Restaurant Performance Index

RPI Methodology

The National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) is a monthly composite index that tracks the health of the U.S. restaurant industry. Launched in 2002, the RPI is released on the last business day of each month.

The RPI 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 Index consists of two components — the Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), and the Expectations Index, which measures restaurant operators’ six-month outlook for four industry indicators (same-store sales, employees, capital expenditures and business conditions).

The RPI is based on the responses to the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Industry Tracking Survey, which is fielded monthly among restaurant operators nationwide on a variety of indicators including sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures. Restaurant operators interested in participating in the tracking survey: contact Bruce Grindy.

For more detailed analysis of the RPI and Industry Tracking Survey data, see Restaurant TrendMapper.

Updated 11/30/2021