The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) was 100.2 in January 2011, and restaurant capital spending (on equipment, remodeling, and expansion) was relatively steady.
The January RPI was down 0.8% from December 2010, but still marked the fourth time in five months that the RPI was above 100, signifying expansion in the index of key industry indicators. The RPI is a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry.
Capital spending continued at relatively steady levels, the report said, with 39% of operators reporting they made an expenditure for equipment, expansion, or remodeling in the last three months, roughly on par with levels in the last two monthly surveys.
Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the association, said the extreme weather in some parts of the U.S. slowed sales in January and was largely to blame for the RPI decline. Still, Riehle said restaurant operators' outlook for sales growth and the economy was still optimistic.
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