WASHINGTON — The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index was 101.6 in April, down 0.6% from March but still the sixth consecutive month the R.P.I. has been above 100.
“Although the Restaurant Performance Index dipped somewhat in April, it remained solidly in positive territory,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice-president of the research and knowledge group for the association. “Restaurant operators reported positive same-stores sales for the 11th consecutive month and a majority of them expect business to continue to improve in the months ahead.”
Though restaurant operators reported positive same-stores sales for the 11th consecutive month, sales were down somewhat from March. Fifty-seven per cent of operators reported a same-store sales gain in April, down from 65% who reported the same in March. In addition, 25% of operators had lower same-stores sales in April, up from 21% who reported the same in March.
There was also softer customer traffic in April with 46% of operators reporting higher customer traffic in April, down from 55% who had higher traffic in March. At the same time, 30% of operators had lower customer traffic levels in April, up from 24% in March.
The majority of restaurant operators expect their sales to be higher in coming months, with 52% of operators expecting to have higher sales in six months. Just 8% of operators expect their sales volume to be lower in six months.