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Restaurant Performance Index Rose 0.5% in May

07/03/2022

The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) registered a moderate gain in May, as the current situation indicators improved somewhat from April’s readings. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 102.6 in May, up 0.5% from a level of 102.1 in April.

Although restaurant operators reported positive same-store sales and customer traffic compared to year-ago levels, their outlook for the economy continued to deteriorate. More than 4 in 10 restaurant operators expect economic conditions to worsen in the next six months – the highest reading since 2008.

The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators, stood at 103.6 in May – up 1.2% from a level of 102.3 in April. May’s healthy increase was driven by broad-based improvements in the current situation indicators, which followed dampened readings in April.

The Expectations Index, which measures restaurant operators’ six-month outlook for four industry indicators, stood at 101.6 – down 0.3% from the previous month and the fifth consecutive monthly decline. While a majority of restaurant operators expect their sales to increase in the coming months, they are decidedly pessimistic about the direction of the overall economy.

Read the full RPI report here.

RPI Methodology

The National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) is a monthly composite index that tracks the health of the U.S. restaurant industry. Launched in 2002, the RPI is released on the last business day of each month.

The RPI is measured in relation to a neutral level of 100. Index values above 100 indicate that key industry indicators are in a period of expansion, while index values below 100 represent a period of contraction for key industry indicators. The Index consists of two components — the Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), and the Expectations Index, which measures restaurant operators’ six-month outlook for four industry indicators (same-store sales, employees, capital expenditures and business conditions).

The RPI is based on the responses to the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Industry Tracking Survey, which is fielded monthly among restaurant operators nationwide on a variety of indicators including sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures. 

Source: National Restaurant Association; Updated 6/30/2022