Restaurant Performance Index dipped in July

The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) remained near record levels in July, as the year-ago comparisons were still dampened for many indicators. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 105.4 in July, down slightly from a level of 105.6 in June. 

Restaurant operators continued to report higher same-store sales and customer traffic levels in July. Looking forward, while restaurant operators are less optimistic about the overall economy, their outlook for capital spending rose to a record high. 

The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), stood at 106.3 in July – up 0.5% from June and the highest level in three months. The sales, traffic and labor indicators continue to be elevated because of the dampened comparisons during the early months of the pandemic. As a result, the heightened level of the Current Situation Index is not a direct indication of the health of the restaurant industry. 

The Expectations Index, which measures restaurant operators’ six-month outlook for four industry indicators (same-store sales, employees, capital expenditures and business conditions), stood at 104.5 – the lowest level in six months. Although restaurant operators have a positive outlook for both sales and capital expenditures, they are significantly less bullish about the direction of the overall economy               

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 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 8/31/2021