Restaurant Performance Index fell 1.5% in April
The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) fell sharply in April, as both the current situation and expectations indicators registered broad-based declines. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 102.1 in April, down 1.5% from a level of 103.7 in March.
Same-store sales and customer traffic readings were somewhat dampened compared to recent months, as many restaurants were up against more difficult comparisons in April. Looking ahead, operators’ outlook for business conditions waned in recent months, which led to a fourth consecutive decline in the RPI’s expectations component.
The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators, stood at 102.3 in April – down 2.2% from a level of 104.6 in March. All four of the current situation indicators declined in April, led by softer same-store sales and customer traffic readings.
The Expectations Index, which measures restaurant operators’ six-month outlook for four industry indicators, stood at 101.9 – down 0.8% from the previous month and the fourth consecutive monthly decline. Although operators remain cautiously optimistic about sales growth in the months ahead, they had a net negative outlook for the overall economy for the third straight month.
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.