Driven by improving same-store sales and customer traffic levels, as well as growing optimism among restaurant operators, the outlook for the restaurant industry improved inSeptember. The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI)– a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurantindustry – stood at 100.3 in September, up a solid 0.8 percent from its August level.In addition, the RPI rose above 100 for the first time in five months, which signifiesexpansion in the index of key industry indicators.
“The RPI’s solid gain in September was the result of broad-based improvements amongboth the current situation and forward-looking indicators,” says Hudson Riehle, seniorvice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the National RestaurantAssociation. “Restaurant operators reported positive same-store sales and customertraffic levels for the first time in six months, which propelled the RPI’s Current SituationIndex to its highest level in nearly three years.”
“In addition, restaurant operators are more optimistic about sales growth in the monthsahead, while their outlook for the economy rose to its strongest level in five months,”Riehle added.
Watch a video of Riehle providing an industry update, including the RPI and holiday dining.
The RPI is constructed so that the health of the restaurant industry is measured inrelation to a steady-state level of 100. Index values above 100 indicate that key industryindicators are in a period of expansion, and index values below 100 represent a period ofcontraction for key industry indicators.