CHICAGO – Higher same-store sales and customer traffic along with a positive outlook by foodservice operators more than offset inclement weather to keep the Restaurant Performance Index elevated in January, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) reported.

The Current Situation Index declined slightly in January to 102.7. January marked the 11th consecutive month the index stood above 100, the NRA said. A majority of foodservice operators reported positive same-store sales and traffic for the month.

“A solid majority of restaurant operators reported higher same-store sales and customer traffic in January, which helped keep the RPI well into positive territory,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group. “In addition, nearly six in 10 operators expect their business to improve in the next six months, with plans for capital expenditures also continuing at a high level.”

Additionally, foodservice operators continued to expand and make capital expenditures, with 51 percent of operators reporting capital expenditures for equipment, expansion or remodeling during the last three months, according to the NRA. Fifty-seven percent of foodservice operators said they also plan to make a capital expenditure in the next six months.

The Expectations Index was unchanged. The index indicates restaurant operators remain optimistic about business conditions in the future.