Through a coordinated digital and social media campaign, the National Restaurant Association is leading a two-pronged approach to urge guests to buy restaurant gift cards and help restaurants promote gift card sales.

With the past year’s impact on sales, restaurant gift cards are taking on special meaning for operators and consumers this holiday season.

For restaurants, they represent immediate revenue and future business, and for customers, they remain a fun and convenient gift to give and receive. They’re a reminder that a great meal from a restaurant is always something to look forward to.

Restaurant gift cards are still popular

A new National Restaurant Association survey of 1,000 adult consumers found that this year, despite the pandemic, 42% said they planned to give a restaurant gift card to someone during the holidays, and 62% said they’d like to receive gift cards as a holiday present. Of that group, 63% indicated they’d like the gift card to be to their favorite restaurant.

“Restaurant gift cards have always been an important component driving sales over the holiday period and beyond,” said Hudson Riehle, the Association’s senior vice president of Research. “Right now, they’re even more critical to operators, because of the pandemic. Consumers have always welcomed them, and their availability can nudge diners into the decision to not only seek a restaurant meal solution, but also to patronize a specific brand or operation.”

Share it on social

Through a coordinated digital and social media campaign, the National Restaurant Association is leading a two-pronged approach to urge guests to buy restaurant gift cards and help restaurants promote gift card sales.

Through a viral social media campaign, guests are asked to record short videos or post pictures of themselves buying restaurant gift cards and tagging someone to the do the same. They post the video or photo using #StepUpToTheTable. The campaign is ready to share through this social media toolkit.

Simultaneously, the Association continues its campaign encouraging customers to Let Restaurants Do the Cooking this holiday season. Gift cards are a perfect prompt to get customers to order full meals, sides, appetizers or desserts from their favorite restaurants, supplementing home dining over the holidays.

Breakfast breakout

The American Egg Board also has a gift card marketing promotion designed specifically to help restaurants boost business. The Gift of Eggs campaign encourages people to help bring breakfast back by giving friends and loved ones gift cards to their favorite local restaurants. The board is promoting it on social media and using Google Maps technology to suggest nearby restaurants for breakfast or brunch gift-card giving. The message is that gift cards offer a great alternative for those who need a break from cooking during the hectic holiday season.

Selling holiday gift cards will engage consumers and keep your brand top of mind. It also presents an opportunity for them to celebrate the holidays and support their favorite restaurants at the same time.