According to the latest Restaurant Performance Index, released by the National Restaurant Association, November saw the industry continue to rebound from a mediocre summer and hit its highest levels since June.

Restaurant News reports that the latest RPI levels stood at 101.2 in November, which was an increase of 0.3 percent from October. For the ninth consecutive month, the industry has seen its RPI stand above 100, which means the industry will likely have ended 2013 with a strong level of overall expansion.

"Recent growth in the RPI was fueled in large part by improving same-store sales and customer traffic levels," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the National Restaurant Association. "In addition, restaurant operators are somewhat more confident that sales levels will improve, and a majority plan to make a capital expenditure in the next six months."

Traffic, sales and expectations all rise
This index is split into two halves, one regarding sales and traffic in the industry and the other concerning predictions and expectations for the near future. The former rose again in November, with 57 percent of restaurant operators seeing gains year over year and 47 percent reporting increased customer traffic. In comparison, the expectations index, which tracks predictions for the near future, rose by 0.2 percent in November and officially logged a year of positive results. The report said 38 percent of operators expect to increase their sales in the next six months.

In addition, according to Appliance Magazine, it's likely that restaurant operators exert more of their resources toward capital spending in November. More than half, 54 percent, of all respondents said that they had made a major expenditure of capital toward commercial appliances and other equipment or expansions in the last three months, the seventh month in a row that saw such numbers.

Another 55 percent of operators said that they expect to purchase more commercial appliances or foodservice equipment in the next six months, among other capital expenditures. That's a rise of 2 percent from the same figures in October, which means many companies are taking 2014 into their own hands, expanding their own means as a way to improve their sales.

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