The news just keeps getting better for restaurants. Really.
The National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index for March indicates that the economic health of U.S. eateries improved sequentially, largely because of improvements in same-store sales and traffic. The index clocked in at 101.0 in March, up 0.3 points from February. A figure over 100 indicates expansion in the restaurant sector.
Better still, it was the sixth time in seven months that the index came in above 100, indicating a more sustained level of expansion. A notable exemplar has been McDonald's
Other restaurant heavyweights have seen similarly good performances over the last few months. Chipotle
Results at other chains were more spotty. The first quarter wasn't quite so pink at Yum! Brands
While the restaurant index did indicate improving sales in the months ahead, it also noted that restaurants were less sanguine about the overall direction of the economy, with only 32% anticipating improved conditions in the next half-year.
Do you have a restaurant that's poised to rock? Let me know in the comments below.
Jim Royal, Ph.D., owns shares of McDonald's. Chipotle is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Hidden Gems choice. Panera Bread is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. McDonald's is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. The Fool owns shares of Chipotle and Yum! Brands. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.