A recent article from Nation’s Restaurant News suggests that ‘optimism is waning’ amongst restaurant owners and operators as the industry enters a slow-down period. After reaching an 11-month high in April, NRN’s Restaurant Performance Index posted a decline in May, with a rating of 98.3. According to the index, below 100 suggests an industry retreat, while a score over 100 suggests industry growth.
The results of the index are based on a number of indicators, including information from The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, U.S. unemployment numbers, and industry analysts. One analyst, Steve West at Stifel Nicolaus, noted that restaurant industry sales trends were on a perpetual decline through April, May, and June. Possible influential factors include price reductions in casual-dining chains and increased national unemployment.
With the Wall Street Journal reporting an increase in traffic to recipe sites, it seems restaurants may also be competing with consumers who are cooking at home more often in an effort to save money.