The barometer of restaurant industry fortunes showed an uptick in April.
Improving same-store sales and customer traffic and a positive outlook among restaurant operators helped boost the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index to 101.7 in April, up 0.3% from March and strongest level since May 2013, according to a news release from the Washington, D.C.-based group.
“The recent rise in the RPI was fueled by improvements in same-store sales and customer traffic, which are back on a positive trajectory after the winter soft patch,” Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association, said in the release. “In addition, restaurant operators have an optimistic outlook for business conditions in the months ahead, which is reflected by the expectations component of the RPI rising to its highest level in two years.”
The survey said 46% of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in six months, down slightly from 49% who reported similarly last month. Meanwhile, 11% of restaurant operators expect their sales volume in six months to be lower than it was during the same period in the previous year, compared to just 6% percent last month.
The RPI, with scores above 100 showing business expansion, is based on the responses to the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Industry Tracking Survey. That monthly effort polls operators about sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures, according to the release. The full report and video summary are available online at Restaurant.org/RPI, according to the release.