Following the trends of recent months, the restaurant industry again saw improvement in April, rising to a new relative height. Recent industry reports suggest a big factor in this process comes from the possibilities that mobile technology lend to the average business.
Restaurant Performance Index gains 0.3 percent
With same-store sales and customer traffic growing amid a concurrent improvement in restaurant operators' overall outlook, April's National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index rose for the second straight month. This RPI, which tracks the health and outlook of the U.S. restaurant industry, stood at 101.7 during the month, where a level of 100 is the breaking point between expansion and contraction. This was up 0.3 percent from March and helped the index reach its highest point of growth in nearly a year.
The senior vice president of the NRA's Research and Knowledge Group, Hudson Riehle, said that the rise was likely fueled by improvements in same-store sales and customer traffic, which are back on track with expectations after a weak winter market. Operators are also optimistic for the months ahead, a sentiment that is boosted by another side of the RPI hitting its highest point in two years.
The industry's current situation index, which tracks sales and traffic, was up by half of a point in April, rising to a new expansion point of 101.3. While impressive, that pales in comparison to the expectations index, which tracks predictions for the near future in the market. That was up to 102.2 in April, an advance of 0.2 percent from March, amid hopes that the summer brings even better economic factors to the marketplace.
Mobile matters more
Pizza Marketplace added that to approach more of this growth, businesses might want to look into the prospects of mobile payment options. Coffee powerhouse Starbucks alone generates about 14 percent of its sales through mobile, which shows the potential strength the new technology additions can provide.
Having a mobile app doesn't just tell customers that you can appeal to their specific needs. Benefits also range from gathering analytics to having a secure payment program and giving customers a way to ensure the safety of their payments.
Mobile options are also very popular among younger shoppers. Heavy mobile users of restaurant apps are said to be between the ages of 22 and 35.
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