Restaurant business experiencing modest expansion


ChartA sign of growing consumer confidence is the positive performance record being posted by America’s restaurant business – it means consumers are more willing to indulge in some non-essential spending. So it’s good news that restaurants are on the expansionary side of par.

A score of 100 is par on the scale of National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI). It stood at 100.6 in March and has now moved even higher, to 101.0. It marked the third consecutive month in triple digits.

Said Hudson Riehle, SVP of the Research and Knowledge Group, “Growth in the Restaurant Performance Index was due largely to restaurant operators’ healthier outlook for the business environment in the coming months. In particular, there was a drop-off in the proportion of operators who expect conditions to worsen in the months ahead, which suggests a broadening of the perspective that the expansion is firmly entrenched.”

Key takeaways:
* The Current Situation Index stands at 100.1, up from 99.8 in March.
* 49% reported same-store YOY gains in April, compared to 33% that lost money, both superior numbers to those posted in March.
* One slightly gloomy note: 36% experienced better YOY customer traffic, compared to 40% reporting a decline.
* The Expectations Index is healthy at 101.9, up 0.5 from March.
* 41% expect increase sales over the next six months, compared to only 10% looking for a decrease.

RBR-TVBR observation: We’re sure broadcasters everywhere will be trying to get restaurant operators to express their confidence with a nice advertising flight that will help them meet, or even better, exceed their lofty expectations.