Posts Tagged ‘restaurant gift cards’

Don’t Forget the Gift Cards This Season

November 3, 2011

Gift cards are a great way to help any restaurant weather the current recession, and this is the time of year you should start promoting – or at least ordering! – your restaurant’s gift cards.


What Gift Cards Can Do for Your Restaurant


If you don’t currently offer holiday gift cards for your operation, then may we suggest you consider doing so? You’ve probably noticed that every major chain restaurant from Applebee’s to T.G.I. Friday’s to Yardhouse offers gift cards in various denominations. As you might guess, there are some very good reasons for that.


Generally speaking, most gift card recipients will end up spending more than the amount of their gift card at your store. When done right, these cards or coupons are a source of free advertising that virtually guarantees customer draw! You may also want to talk to your accountant about how to write off different kinds of gift item usage as paid promotion, marketing, or advertising costs.


Why Gift Cards are a Nice Holiday Present for Customers, Post-New Year’s Present for You


These kinds of pre-loaded promotional items are a holiday favorite among customers as well. Gift-givers all over the country use them as presents that will always be appreciated and never be awkward.


But they also have a big benefit to you as well. Aside from bringing in new customers, they can help you keep your seats filled during the dreary months of January and February. In fact, it’s often a good idea to put a “Use By” date on your gift cards – in prominent type. This helps encourage patrons to visit your establishment ASAP, which can really help out during the first of the year.


How to Promote Gift Items


Remember the days of McDonald’s Gift Certificates that you could write on and give to your favorite nieces, nephews, and grandchildren? Those days are long gone! The preferred items today are plastic gift cards.


These items are lightweight, more durable, and much easier to keep up with than traditional gift certificates. They can fit in a wallet or purse just like any credit card, but you can buy them thinner and cheaper than credit card material.


Most importantly, they’ll bring people into your restaurant during the post-holiday lull! We highly suggest you start using gift cards or similar “free” food promotions to jump-start your sales before, during, and after the holiday season.