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Restaurant Capital Spending Plans Improving
Feb 5, 2014
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Restaurant capital spending levels—on commercial appliances/foodservice equipment, expansion, or remodeling—remained positive in December 2013, according to the National Restaurant Association. The organization said 52% of operators made a capital expenditure in the previous three months. It was the eighth consecutive month in which most operators said they made expenditures.

December capital spending levels remained positive despite dampened sales and traffic in December, which was blamed on bad winter weather in much of the United States.

Restaurant operators' plans for capital spending in the next six months were also strong, despite their mixed outlook for the overall economy: 61% of operators plan a capital expenditure—on commercial appliances/foodservice equipment, expansion, or remodeling—in the next six months; 55% reported similarly in the previous month's report.

The association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) saw a decline in December to stand at 100.5, down 0.6% from November. Despite the decline—the first in three months—the RPI was over 100 for the 10th month, indicating expansion.

“The December decline in the RPI was due to a dip in the current situation indicators, which in turn was partly caused by inclement weather in large parts of the country,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. “Despite the softer December results, restaurant operators remain generally optimistic about business conditions in the months ahead.”

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