Give the Gift of A Delicious Experience

By Jessica Rodrigues

If you are a foodservice operator and do not have a gift card program, it’s time to make gifting a priority. Whether digital or physical, customers love the convenience and accessibility of gift cards and there are numerous benefits for restaurateurs as well. According to the most recent Paytronix and PYMNTS Restaurant Gift Card Sales Report 2022, restaurant gift card sales increased by 22% in 2021 compared to 2020 and these numbers continue to grow. Not only are gift certificates easily accessible for consumers, but according to the National Retail Federation, in 2022, 54% of people surveyed said gift cards are the most-wanted gift of the holiday season. Restaurateurs are adapting to increased demand for gift cards and are quickly seeing advantages; actively encouraging guests to buy and use gift cards for takeout or dine-in.

Gift cards provide restaurants with an immediate source of revenue or cash flow. Profit margins increase as soon as the gift voucher is sold and remember, not all gift cards are redeemed. Gift cards can be lost or forgotten leaving the restaurant with total gain. The patrons who do use gift cards for takeout orders tend to spend over the gift card amount, further increasing revenue. While gift cards are sold and used year-round, a 2022 study by Credit Suisse revealed the average casual restaurant generates over 50% of its annual gift card sales during the holidays and nearly 40% of redemptions happen at the beginning of the year. Gift cards are a great way to boost holiday sales and diversify your revenue stream, while increasing customer volume.

Beyond instant ROI, gift cards build brand awareness and attract new clients. With a gift card in their wallet, customers will prioritize visiting or ordering takeout from your eatery over a competitor. For restaurant groups with multiple properties, a gift card is a great place to add valuable information like different locations alongside website, social media and telephone number. A gift card is also a brand beacon and showcases logos and other visual signifiers that keep restaurants top of mind. Gift cards also entice new customers. Traditionally purchased by loyal patrons, gift certificates are then given to potentially new visitors. Your customers become ambassadors, reaching new audiences and encouraging others to try a new culinary destination.

Gift cards are excellent tools for restaurants who want to grow their takeout and dine-in services. Gift card structures and advertising can be tailored to your specific restaurant needs and there is an array of gift card vendors that can seamlessly integrate into your restaurant system. There is a strong appetite for gift card sales and the gift cards you sell today ensure there will be diners in your restaurant in the future.