U.S. restaurant operators' capital spending activity—on commercial appliances and other foodservice equipment, as well as expansion/remodeling—decreased in February 2014, according to the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI). The decrease came after three months of lower customer traffic in restaurants.
The association's data for February showed that 44% of operators made a capital expenditure in the previous three months—the first time in 10 months that this result showed less than a majority of operators making an expenditure.
Still, operators have a generally optimistic sales outlook and most—58%—plan on making capital expenditures in the next six months. That number is down from the 64% level in the report for the month of January.
The RPI, the monthly composite index tracking the U.S. restaurant industry, was at 100.5 in February, from 100.7 in January. With the reading still over the 100 mark, the association said, the industry continues to show expansion.
"Restaurant operators continued to report net positive same-store sales results in February, despite customer traffic levels that were challenged by the weather,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. “Looking forward, operators are generally optimistic about sales gains in the months ahead, although they aren’t as bullish about the overall economy.”
One RPI component, the Current Situation Index, was at 99.3 in February, down from 99.5 in January.
Another RPI component, the Expectations Index, tracking restaurant operators' six-month outlook for the industry, was at 101.7 in February, from 101.8 in January.
to Daily News