Restaurant Performance Index fell 0.8% in November

The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) fell sharply in November, as current situation indicators registered broad-based declines. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 97.5 in November, down 0.8% from a level of 98.3 in October. 

The RPI fell to its lowest level since July, and reflected a sharp deterioration in business conditions in November. Restaurant operators reported significantly lower same-store sales and customer traffic, with November readings falling back to late-spring levels. Looking ahead, a majority of restaurant operators expect the economy to improve in the next six months, though their outlook for sales remains uncertain. 

The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators, stood at 95.0 in November – down 1.4% from a level of 96.8 in October. All four current situation indicators declined in November, which dropped the RPI component to its lowest level since June.

The Expectations Index, which measures restaurant operators’ six-month outlook for four industry indicators, stood at 100.0 – down 0.2% from the previous month. Although restaurant operators are more optimistic about the direction of the overall economy in the months ahead, their outlook for their own business remains mixed       

Read the full RPI report.

RPI Methodology

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. 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 12/31/2020