How to sell restaurant gift cards

3 min read

Are you thinking about how to sell restaurant gift cards?

Over the years the restaurant industry has been fighting tooth and nail to survive.

Restaurants were hardest hit by the global pandemic. On top of already challenging economic circumstances, restaurants had to try and operate with a background of isolation, lockdowns and social distancing.

Today, we are still feeling the effects. But one thing that does have the attention of consumers is experiences!

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Why gift cards are boosting restaurant experiences

Gift cards are now morphing into gift experiences.

These experiences are just what consumers are looking for!

While the isolation and lockdowns were a devastating part of the pandemic, it did change the way consumers were motivated.

Instead of buying ‘stuff’, people have almost realised the importance of experiencing and making memories with loved ones. - Things they were deprived of for 2 years!

That’s why experiences are becoming more and more desired.

Luckily, for restaurateurs, there’s the perfect solution- gift cards. Otherwise known as ‘gift experiences’.

How to sell restaurant gift cards- Deciding what experiences to sell

The first step when you learn how to sell restaurant gift cards is deciding what gift cards to sell.

Monetary gift cards

Most restaurants that decide to sell gift cards will begin and end with monetary gift cards. This is selling a gift card at a monetary value. E.g £50 gift card.

While monetary gift cards have their place and will always sell, we are seeing the most growth from gift experiences.

Gift experiences

Turning your gift cards into gift experiences is what will set your restaurant brand apart from your competition.

Consumers are looking for experiences to share with loved ones and to build memories.

Create dining events, dishes and dinner packages around a unique experience to generate interest and lure in more customers!

Which experiences sell when deciding how to sell restaurant gift cards

When it comes to restaurant gift cards, the more memorable and unique the experience the better it will sell.

Many restaurateurs have taken their restaurant experiences to the next level.

Some of these experiences include:

  • Themed dining nights (e.g Argentinian)
  • Chef demonstration experience
  • Wine tasting
  • Cheese tasting
  • Cooking classes with the head chef/ hire a famous celebrity chef (if budget allows!)
  • 7 course meals

The list goes on! I’m sure you can think of some spectacular dining experiences.

Marketing your gift cards

Now creating and selling your gift cards is one thing. It’s a whole different ball game when it comes to marketing your gift cards.

This is one of the most important steps in selling restaurant gift cards.

The marketing of your gift cards should cover in-house marketing, digital marketing and word-of-mouth.

Let’s look at each of these in more detail:

In-house gift card marketing

Your service staff in your restaurant should be using their many opportunities to upsell your gift cards.

Whether this is through bringing it up in conversation naturally or offering a discount on all gift card sales. This is important because in-house marketing turrets your existing customer base, who may not know about your gift cards.

This way, they are likely to purchase your gift cards either for themselves or for friends and family. It’s an easier sell as they are already familiar, loyal and accustomed to your dining experiences. If they are loyal customers they will appreciate this handy bit of new information.

By offering a discount for in-house guests, is also a great strategy for rewarding your loyal customer base.

Digital gift card marketing

Your digital marketing encompasses everything you do online.

By utilising your website, email campaigns, Google My Business and social media channels you can reach a larger range of customers for your gift cards.

Social media

We have a great blog post written on Social media gift cards promotions that you should read about. When it comes to deciding to promote on social media, the first and foremost action should be to determine which platforms your target market hangs out.

Typically you’ll find professionals on LinkedIn. You’ll find millennials and younger on Instagram. And you’ll find Boomers mostly on Facebook.

There are also great campaigns and competitions you can use to promote your gift cards on social media too. This helps spread awareness and boost gift card sales.

Why use a gift card platform?

Selling gift cards for your restaurant can be made simple and easy with a gift card platform.

Online store

When selling your gift cards, ideally you should look to sell them on your website.

This will broaden your customer base and be more convenient for your customers to buy!

An online gift card store will also enable you to more easily promote and sell a wider range of gift card experiences for your restaurant.

Discount and promotions

The right gift card management platform will not only enable you to sell gift cards online, but also enable you to offer promotions and discounts.

This is necessary for boosting revenue. - Especially around the holiday seasons.

Discounts and promotions will lure many shoppers to your store.

Easy tracking and redemption

When a customer comes to your restaurant, it should be easy and fast to identify and redeem their gift card.

With the traditional handwritten gift cards, many vouchers could easily be counterfeited and used again.

Electronic gift cards all have a unique identification code, which can easily be entered into the back of house gift card system and redeemed. Staff can quickly and easily check the status of the gift card to see if it’s unused or already redeemed.

We hope you found this blog post on how to sell restaurant gift cards. There are many more reasons to use a gift card platform which you can find much more about here: Make more restaurant profit with vouchers.

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