Even as restaurant sales and traffic results softened in December 2012, restaurant operators increased their capital spending on commercial appliances and other equipment, expansion, or remodeling. The report comes from the National Restaurant Association's monthly Restaurant Performance Index (RPI).
In the report, 45% of operators said they made a capital expenditure in the last three months.
Despite an uncertain outlook, restaurant operators also continue to plan for capital spending in the months ahead - 50% of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for foodservice equipment, or for expansion/remodeling, in the next six months. Only 45% said so in the November report.
The overall RPI was 99.7 in December, down 0.2% from November.
"Although restaurant operators reported softer same-store sales and customer traffic levels in December, they are cautiously optimistic about sales growth in the months ahead," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the association. "However, operators remain decidedly pessimistic about the overall economy, with only 17% saying they expect business conditions to improve in the next six months."
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