Restaurant traffic declines in June; same-store sales increaseEven though the National Restaurant Association’s performance index dropped slightly in June after hitting a two-year high in May, the industry logged an increase in same-store sales.

The association tracks several variables to produce the performance index, with a value of 100 representing a steady-state, according to a news release. The index for June was 101.3, down from 102.1 in May. June marked the first time in four months that the index declined.

“Although overall same-store sales remained positive in June, the RPI dipped as a result of softer customer traffic levels,” association senior vice president of research and knowledge Hudson Riehle said in the release.

“Looking forward, restaurant operators are generally optimistic about sales growth in the months ahead, and their outlook for capital spending remains near post-recession highs.”

A majority of restaurant operators reported an increase in same-store sales compared with sales last year for the fourth consecutive month in June, according to the release. However, customer traffic declined for 41% of operators in June. In May only 29% of operators reported customer traffic declines.

Restaurant operators apparently remain optimistic, though, because capital spending activity remained solid, with 53% of them reporting they invested in equipment, expansion or remodeling in the past three months.

Many in the industry expect business to improve, according to the release. Sales growth is expected in the next six months by 44% of restaurant operators, with only 10% expecting declines.