Restaurant Performance Index increased 0.7% in December

The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) posted a moderate gain in December, as restaurant operators reported improving same-store sales and customer traffic results. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 101.8 in December, up 0.7% from a level of 101.1 in November.  

A majority of restaurant operators said their same-store sales were higher than year-ago levels, but customer traffic readings were a mixed bag. Looking ahead, restaurant operators remain generally optimistic about sales gains in the coming months.  

The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators, stood at 101.7 in December – up 0.9% from a level of 100.8 in November. December’s increase in the Current Situation Index was due in large part to improvements in the same-store sales and customer traffic indicators.  

The Expectations Index, which measures restaurant operators’ six-month outlook for four industry indicators, stood at 101.9 – up 0.5% from the previous month. Although restaurant operators remain uncertain about the direction of the overall economy, the proportion of operators expecting conditions to worsen trended steadily lower in recent months.                           

Read the full RPI report.

Restaurant Performance Index

RPI Methodology

The National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) is a monthly composite index that tracks the health of the U.S. restaurant industry. Launched in 2002, the RPI is released on the last business day of each month.

The RPI is measured in relation to a neutral level of 100. Index values above 100 indicate that key industry indicators are in a period of expansion, while index values below 100 represent a period of contraction for key industry indicators. The Index consists of two components — the Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), and the Expectations Index, which measures restaurant operators’ six-month outlook for four industry indicators (same-store sales, employees, capital expenditures and business conditions).

The RPI is based on the responses to the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Industry Tracking Survey, which is fielded monthly among restaurant operators nationwide on a variety of indicators including sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures. Restaurant operators interested in participating in the tracking survey: contact Bruce Grindy.

For more detailed analysis of the RPI and Industry Tracking Survey data, see Restaurant TrendMapper.

Updated 1/31/2023