The number of restaurants has declined. Breakfast is back. Plus, a look at how the humble hot dog epitomizes the challenges operators face with inflation. These stories and more This Week in Foodservice.
Restaurant industry performance improved during September, per the Restaurant Performance Index. Published by the National Restaurant Association, the study showed a 1.0% increase from August for a reading of 101.0. Any reading greater than 100 indicates the industry is in a period of expansion.
The current situation index totaled 101.5 in September, an increase of 0.6% compared to August. While same-store sales grew, customer traffic declined for the fourth consecutive month.
The expectations index totaled 100.6 in September, a 0.4% decline from August. This marks the second consecutive month where less than one in ten operators expect the economy to improve in the next six months.
As for operators’ willingness to spend money, 68% said they made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion, or remodeling in the September survey. This is a slight increase from the 66% who answered similarly in August. This is the ninth consecutive month that at least 60% of the respondents say they have made an investment in their businesses. So even though a lot of operators have little confidence in the economy, they continue to invest in their own businesses.
As for what the future may hold, 63% of operators reported they intend to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion, or remodeling in the next 6 months which is an increase compared to the 60% who had similar plans in August.
While the industry continues to face significant pressures, there are some positive points.

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