Selling gift cards is one of the best ways to increase sales while improving brand visibility. Gift card sales during the holiday is a proven way to generate cash flow and increase customer engagement. 

Why sell holiday gift cards for your restaurant?

The largest single category of gift card purchases are for restaurants. “Almost half of all gift card spending in the US goes to restaurants.” (Link) The benefits of selling cards for the restaurant are numerous. Here are just a few:

  • Guaranteed spending. The customer has purchased the meal in advance.
  • Repeat visits. 
  • Increase sales: The average customer spends more than the face value of the gift card.
  • Repeat sales: 33% of customers reload gift cards
  • Brand awareness: 44% of customers say that a gift card caused them to visit a restaurant that they otherwise would not have. 

How to design a restaurant gift card offer.

Here are just a few proven gift card offers:

  • Get 10% off of the total gift card purchase.
  • Buy $50 get $10 back
  • Buy a gift card and gets a free dessert
  • Buy a gift card and get a free meal in January
  • Red envelope contest strategy. Give each customer who buys $100 or more in gift cards a red envelope with a special offer in it, a free deseret $50 gift card, a free meal, etc. The customer has to bring the red envelope back in January and open it in the restaurant.

Make sure you design both a physical and digital campaign. Marketing to your customer inside your restaurant is just as important as online. Use table tents and posters around your restaurant to inform your customers. Also, educate your staff to tell customers about the gift card offers. This can be done tableside by the servers or at the cash register

Social media and your website are great places to market your restaurant’s holiday gift card campaign. Use a platform like Hootsuite or Heropost to schedule 25 to 30 posts in November and December. Know your customer’s buying patterns and time the post accordingly. Also, add landing pages to your website to track where traffic is coming from. The Digital Restaurant blog has a good post on HOW TO SELL RESTAURANT GIFT CARDS ON INSTAGRAM.


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