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Restaurant Capital Spending Plans at Highest Level Since 2007
May 4, 2011
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The outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry continued to strengthen in March, bolstered by solid improvements in same-store sales and customer traffic levels, according to the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI).

The RPI is a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry. The RPI stood at 101.0 in March, up 0.3% from February and the third gain in four months. March represented the sixth time in seven months that the RPI stood above 100, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

Capital spending activity among restaurant operators has been relatively constant in recent months. 40% of operators said they made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the last three months, essentially unchanged from the levels reported in the previous four months.

Restaurant operators remain optimistic that sales will grow in the coming months and operators’ plans for capital spending rose to its highest level in 41 months. 53% of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion, or remodeling in the next six months, up slightly from 52% who reported similarly last month.

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