food and beverage underground

Your Restaurant Gift Certificate Program Has So Many Benefits

A restaurant gift certificate is far and above the preferred gift card in the gift certificate world according to
the National Restaurant Association and they should also be your best friends over the restaurant holiday season. Let us look at a few facts that make these gift certificates so valuable to your business over the coming months.

  1. First and foremost these certificates are sales!
  2. They are given to potential new customers.
  3. Just like Hallmark (when you care to send the very best) they already come with a seal of approval.
  4. They are pre-paid which in effect is an interest free loan to your business.
  5. Almost 70% of gift certificates bought over the holidays are redeemed in January, which is the slowest month of the year for most restaurants and businesses. Getting people in those seats for many is essential.
  6. Some 3%-8% are never redeemed which in effect is a free gift to you.
  7. Many people bring other guests with them and usually spend more than the face value of the restaurant gift certificate.

With all of the benefits of gift certificates it is a no-brainer to want to promote and sell them to the best of your ability. There are several ways you can promote these golden cards but by far the best is by in-house promotion. Do not make it an after thought of the guest to ask for a gift certificate, put it in front of them. Many register systems allow for a message to be put at the bottom of a check, how about “Don’t Forget Your Holiday Gift Certificates Today.” Many credit card voucher printing systems allow a separate line to add on a donation or the likes, what about changing it to allow the guest to add on whatever amount they like for a restaurant gift certificate.

Other ways to promote your certificates is adding a mention on to all of your radio, print, and television ads. What about table tents? Anyway your establishment lets people know about what’s happening in your restaurant is an opportunity to sell these certificates.

Two more must dos before you are in a position to capitalize from your restaurant gift certificate business. First get a nice quality gift certificate made, either a printed certificate book with copies or logbook for tracking or the plastic gift cards. Make sure that it represents you and your establishment as you want it too. Remember these are going to be used as gifts, so look that way. Finally inform your staff, get them involved, and even hold a contest for the most or highest value sold over a given period. Although there is no real perfect time to start the program but most holiday certificates are bought the two weeks prior to Christmas, but I usually start actively promoting the first of December. Good luck and have a Merry Christmas!

From Restaurant Gift Certificate to Restarant Business Plan


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