Foodservice Equipment Reports

NRA’s Performance Index Rises Again In April

It’s now clear that restaurant operators have bounced back sharply from the declines caused by severe winter weather during the first two months of 2014. The National Restaurant Association Restaurant Performance Index rose again in April, as same-store sales and traffic continued to improve. Both capital expenditure measures rose during the month.

The overall index was up 0.3 point to 101.7, its highest reading since May of last year and the 14th consecutive month the index has stood above 100. Index values above 100 signal expansion. All eight components of the index stood at 100 or more in April.

The Current Situation Index rose half a point to 101.3, as the indicators tracking same-store sales and customer traffic were up 0.2 point each. The labor component ticked up 0.1 point.

The Expectations Index gained 0.2 point to reach 102.2, its highest level in two years. The increase came despite a 0.7 point drop in the six-month outlook for same-store sales. The staffing indicator rose 0.9 point, a sign that operators plan to hire more employees over the next six months. The outlook for business conditions rose 0.1 point.

The indicator that tracks capital spending by operators during the past three months jumped sharply 1.4 point to 101.2, after two months below the expansion-contraction tipping point in February and March. The percentage of operators reporting a capital buy rose to 56% in April from 49% in March. The marker for operators planning a capital purchase during the next six months gained 0.4 point to reach 102.1; 60% of operators plan a purchase.

The complete Restaurant Performance Index report can be found at restaurant.org.

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