The National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) comprehensive index of restaurant activity was unchanged in October from the previous month. The group's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) stands at 100 -- a level that represents expansion in the industry. October’s steady RPI level was the result of softer sales and customer traffic being offset by a more optimistic outlook among restaurant operators.
"Although sales results were somewhat softer in October, restaurant operators reported net positive same-store sales for the fifth consecutive month," said Hudson Riehle, NRA's senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group, who also notes restaurant operators' expectations about the future improved.
According to the survey, restaurant operators remain relatively optimistic about sales growth in the months ahead. Thirty-five percent of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in six months (compared to the same period in the previous year), down slightly from 37% who reported similarly last month. In comparison, 15% of restaurant operators expect their sales volume in six months to be lower than it was during the same period in the previous year, down from 19% last month.
Juli says: Holding at or above the 100-point level for the RPI is good news for red meat demand. Last month's uptick in the Consumer Confidence Index and the strong start to the holiday shopping season signals consumers are more optimistic, which should help restaurant sales in December.