The Restaurant Performance Index for November hit its highest level in five months, reaching 100.6, which is a 0.6% increase from October. November also marked the second time in three months that the index topped 100, signifying expansion in key industry indicators, according to a news release from the Washington D.C.-based NRA.
The index measures the health of the restaurant industry in relation to a steady-state level of 100. Index values above 100 indicate that key industry indicators are in a period of expansion.
Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the NRA’s research and knowledge group, said in the release that restaurant operators reported their strongest net positive same-store sales results in more than four years in November. Customer traffic levels also grew in November.
Other encouraging news included 50% of restaurant operators reporting same-store sales gains between November 2010 and November 2011, while just 28% reported a same-store sales decline. This marked the strongest net positive sales performance since August 2007, when 54 percent of operators reported a sales gain and 29 percent reported lower sales, the NRA reported.
Restaurant operators also reported stronger customer traffic levels in November. Forty-one percent reported higher customer traffic levels between November 2010 and November 2011. In October, 37% reported higher customer traffic.
Looking ahead, 41% of the restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in six months, compared to the same period in the previous year, up from 35 percent who reported similarly in October.