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Restaurant Capital Spending Outlook at 40-Month High as Industry Outlook Improves
Mar 31, 2011
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Improving same-store sales and customer traffic levels as well as growing optimism among restaurant operators helped lift the outlook for the restaurant industry improved in February. The Restaurant Performance Index (RPI), a monthly report form the National Restaurant Association, stood at 100.7 in February, up 0.4% from its January level. February was the fifth month out of the last six months in which the RPI stood above 100, signifying expansion in the index.

“In addition to improving sales and traffic indicators, restaurant operators’ outlook for capital spending hit a 40-month high, while their expectations for staffing growth rose to the highest level in nearly four years,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the association.

Capital spending activity among restaurant operators remained relatively steady in recent months. 40% of operators said they made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling during the last three months, compared with 39% who reported similarly last month.

With an improving sales outlook, restaurant operators’ plans for future capital spending rose to its highest level in 40 months. 52% of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion, or remodeling in the next six months, up from 48% who reported similarly last month.

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