CHICAGO – More than half of fast-casual restaurant operators reported gains in same-store sales making January the 29th consecutive month of growth, according to the National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Industry Tracking Survey.
The NRA said 53 percent of fast-casual operators reported a same-store sales gain between January 2012 and January 2013, while 31 percent reported a same-store sales decline. Forty-eight percent of fast-casual restaurant operators reported higher same-store sales in December, the lowest result since August 2011, according to the NRA.
Fifty-one percent of fast-casual operators said they expect higher sales in six months compared to the same period a year ago, reflecting optimism that sales levels will improve. Only 10 percent of those surveyed said they expect their sales volume to be lower in six months compared to the previous year. While survey respondents were optimistic about their industry performance, they were pessimistic about the direction of the overall economy. Only 29 percent of fast-casual restaurant operators expect overall economic conditions to improve and 24 percent said they expect economic conditions to worsen in the next six months.