Restaurant Capital Spending Index at 3-Year High
May 31, 2011
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It may be good news for commercial appliance producers: capital spending activity among restaurant operators has trended upward in recent months, according to the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI). In the report for April 2011 48% of operators said they made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion, or remodeling in the last three months - the highest level in nearly three years.

The outlook for the restaurant industry overall remained good in April 2011, with positive same-store sales and optimism among restaurant operators for continued growth. The RPI was 100.9 in April, nearly unchanged from 101.0 in March. April was the fifth consecutive month with an RPI over 100, signifying expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

"The restaurant industry continued to build momentum in April, with restaurant operators reporting positive same-store sales and customer traffic levels for the sixth time in the last eight months,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the association. “Barring any significant external shocks, restaurant sales and traffic levels will continue to improve in the months ahead.”

Still, restaurant operators did report a slight decrease in plans for capital spending in the months ahead, with 49% of restaurant operators planning to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion, or remodeling in the next six months, down slightly from 53% who reported similarly last month.

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