The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) remained below 100 in contraction territory in May, as restaurant operators continued to report dampened sales and traffic readings. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 99.1 in May, up slightly from a level of 98.8 in April.

Restaurant operators reported net declines in both same-store sales and customer traffic in May, marking the continuation of a soft patch that began early in 2024. Looking ahead, restaurant operators’ outlook for sales is mixed, while their expectation for the economy remains generally pessimistic. 

The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), stood at 98.7 in May – up 0.6% from April and the first increase in three months. Despite the gain, the Current Situation Index remained below 100 in contraction territory for the 8th consecutive month, due largely to dampened sales and customer traffic. 

The Expectations Index, which measures restaurant operators’ six-month outlook for four industry indicators (same-store sales, employees, capital expenditures and business conditions), stood at 99.6 – up slightly from a level of 99.5 last month. Restaurant operators remain uncertain about both sales and the overall economy in the months ahead. 

Read Complete Article