The National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) improved 0.7 points from the previous month to stand at 100.6 in March. March represented the second time in the last three months the RPI stood above 100, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators. Improvement in the RPI is good news for meat demand.
"The Restaurant Performance Index gain was driven by stronger same-store sales results in March, with comparisons aided by the Easter holiday occurring during the month," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. "In addition, restaurant operators are somewhat more confident in the economy and a majority plan to make a capital expenditure in the next six months."
The association also notes, "While overall sales were positive in March, restaurant operators reported a net decline in customer traffic for the fourth consecutive month. Thirty-four percent of restaurant operators reported higher customer traffic levels between March 2012 and March 2013, while 42% of operators said their traffic declined. In February, 24T of operators reported an increase in customer traffic, while 53% reported lower traffic levels."