Foodservice Equipment Reports

Cap Ex Measures Fall As NRA’s RPI Rises

Foodservice operators’ capital purchasing activity and intentions fell strongly in the August survey for the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index, while nearly all other indicators in the index rose. Big increases in current same-store sales and customer traffic pushed the overall index up 0.4 point to 100.6. It was the 10th consecutive month the index has stood above 100, the dividing line between industry expansion and contraction.

The Current Situation Index rose 0.8 point as the marker for same-store sales rose 1.9 points and that for customer traffic jumped 2.5 points. The labor indicator fell 0.3 point.

The Expectations Index was flat in spite of a 0.9 gain in the outlook for business conditions in six months. The outlook for same-store sales rose only 0.1 point and the staffing indicator was flat.

The indicator tracking operators’ capital purchasing activity during the past three months fell 1.1 point, as the percentage of operators making a purchase fell to 41% from 46% in July. The marker for those planning a capital buy in the next six months was down a full point. Those planning a purchase dropped to 44% from 49% in the July survey.

Worries about projected increases in food prices as well as general economic uncertainties appear to be holding operators back from committing to purchases of equipment and other capital goods.

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