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6 Ways Restaurant Gift Cards Can Boost Your Profit

Gift Card-1

Why Offer Restaurant Gift Cards?

Let's face it, restaurants are looking for a new way to expand their business! Restaurant gift cards are a simple, risk-free way to grow your profits! Selling gift cards is an easy and effective method to start diversifying revenue channels in your restaurant. Restaurant gift cards help build guest loyalty and bring in new customers! When someone purchases a gift card from your restaurant, they’re either implying that they’ll be coming back for more, or that they trust your restaurant enough to give the experience to someone else. Both of those are a win!

Given that 80% of customers who pay with a gift card will end up spending more than what the card is worth, now’s a better time than ever to start promoting restaurant gift card sales! Guests will spend on average $59 more than the worth of their gift card. On top of this, contactless payment is becoming more and more prominent within the restaurant industry. Gift cards can be sold and redeemed digitally to cater to guests who prefer a contactless experience. It’s the perfect gift for all of your guests! 

How Gift Cards Bring Profit to Your Restaurant

A Year-round Purchase: While gift card sales seem to excel during the holiday seasons, they are a product that can be sold throughout the entire year! The valued item makes a wonderful gift for more than just Christmas. They’re perfect for any event, whether it be a birthday, Mother’s and Father's Day, or even a graduation gift. Restaurant gift cards allow the gif-tee the power to make their own choice and personalize their gift, rather than sending cash in a card. Restaurant gift cards can be promoted on websites as well as in-store during a dining experience. 

Non-perishable Product: Unlike most coupons and special offers your restaurant may promote, gift cards don’t have an expiration date. They can also be offered digitally through your restaurant app or website! This is an excellent selling point to persuade your customers. The non-perishable product also provides leeway for restaurant owners who like to keep a large stock of products. Gift cards will remain in the right condition to be sold no matter when you get the supply. Although, you will need to keep in mind the design you choose to put on your cards if you wish to use them all year round!

Larger Checks: For restaurants that offer in-house dining, servers can be trained to upsell and promote gift card sales seamlessly. For cashiers, this method can be used as well! The benefit of promoting this product at the register is being able to utilize a physical display. Gift cards are customizable and can be created with an eye-catching design that helps boost sales! Another way that gift cards influence larger checks is by guests spending more money when using them. Customers are 2.5 times more likely to pay full price for an item when using a gift card. Since gift cards are also offered digitally, that means they can be used and purchased in-store, in-app, and online! That's a lot of profit!

Immediate Revenue: The largest advantage of restaurant gift card sales is the instant revenue that they generate! The purchase is made upfront and can be accounted for right away. This is beneficial for restaurants because they’ll already have the extra cash in hand in case they run into a situation where they may need it. Another benefit is the chance that the gift card is never redeemed or it’s forgotten about. Whether the card is used or not, the revenue has already been accounted for.

With restaurant engagement software, restaurant owners can have all the insight they need to know about their gift cards such as fund pooling and automated ACH for multi-location restaurants.

Brand Awareness: When creating a restaurant gift card design it’s important to include your restaurant's name and logo. The multipurpose card serves as a free advertisement. Even if the guest takes months to use the product, they’ll be reminded of your business every time they open their wallet. You may even find yourself welcoming new customers when they receive a gift card from someone else.

Secured Future Purchase: Every time a guest purchases a restaurant gift card, it sets up an opportunity for a future visit. Oftentimes when a gift card is purchased, it will be gifted to someone else. These sales are a great method for word-of-mouth marketing and raise the potential of new customers. Whether the purchaser will be the one redeeming the gift card or not, someone will need to return it in order to get the full value out of their purchase. 

Restaurant Gift Card Statistics

  • 44% of consumers say they visited a new store or restaurant because they had a gift card (Source)
  • 54% of consumers expect to purchase a gift card from a restaurant or coffee shop (Source)
  • 8 in 10 consumers expect to purchase more than one gift card at a time (Source)
  • Gift cards are the most requested gift (Source)
  • 17% of Americans would want to receive a gift card for the holidays (Source)
  • 51% of US adults forget to redeem their gift cards (Source)
  • Millennials make up 37% of gift card buyers (Source)

How to Promote Gift Card Sales

1. Offer Value With Purchase

If you’re struggling to see a rise in restaurant gift card purchases you may want to think about adding a special value to boost these sales! Adding an extra incentive is a useful promotion, especially during busy gift-card-buying seasons. The additional value may be all you need to convince your guests to make the purchase. There's no arguing with a great deal! Here are some examples of offers to maximize your sales:

  • 10% off a meal with purchase of a gift card
  • Buy $50 worth of gift cards, get a $5 card for free
  • Get a $60 gift card for $50
2. Host a Contest or Giveaway

Everybody loves free stuff! A genius way to attract more sales and boost your marketing is by hosting a contest or giveaway with your gift cards. Every customer that purchases a restaurant gift card during a selected period of time can be entered to win a prize or gift basket. The contest can be used to boost gift card sales, but will also be a way to gain information from your guests. Another way to utilize this product is by hosting a giveaway. When using social media to host a gift card giveaway, you can ask for guests to share your posts to be entered to win. The marketing tactic will help expand your audience on social media and hopefully bring in more foot traffic!

3. Create an eye-catching Design

Gift cards are a simple way to grab the attention of your guest. By using unique and attractive designs you can gain the interest of your audience. The cards will represent your restaurant, so make sure you stay on brand. Take advantage of the opportunity to create new designs for special events and holidays! Remember, these cards won’t expire so whatever you don’t use right away can be saved for next year. 

4. Incentivize Employees

A great way to get your employees to want to sell gift cards is by providing them with an incentive. Turn it into a friendly competition and offer a prize to whichever employee sells the most gift cards! The prize doesn’t need to be anything big and extravagant, just a little something to congratulate employees on their hard work. Implementing all of these techniques into your gift card marketing strategy will be sure to inspire guests and increase gift card profit!


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