Industry News | July 31, 2009

Restaurant Activity Declines Again in June, Study Says

The restaurant industry’s economic challenges continued to persist in June, as the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) comprehensive index of restaurant activity declined for the second consecutive month. The NRA’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI)—a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry—stood at 97.8 in June, down 0.5 percent from May and its 20th consecutive month below 100.

“While there are signs that suggest an improvement may be on the horizon, the latest figures indicate that the restaurant industry’s recovery has yet to gain a firm foothold,” says Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of Research and Information Services for the NRA. “Restaurant operators continued to report declines in same-store sales and customer traffic in June, and their outlook for sales growth in the months ahead remains mixed.”

The RPI is based on the responses to the NRA’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. The RPI consists of two components: the Current Situation Index and the Expectations Index.

The RPI is constructed so that the health of the restaurant industry is measured in relation to a steady-state 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 full report can be found on the NRA’s Web site.

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