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Your Hidden Profit Center for the Holiday Season: Gift Cards

Sure, some people might think they’re impersonal, but the fact
is gift cards are the most requested gift item during the Christmas season. So
as Restaurant owners, you should realize why these tiny pieces of plastic are valuable
to you, and help your customers understand why gift cards are beneficial to
them as well!

It’s safe to say that most
restaurants experience amplified guest counts during the holiday season. In
fact, you might be so busy that driving more guest counts may not be top of
mind; however, gift card sales can be an extremely effective way to increase
sales during your busy holiday season without having to grow your guest counts.
Here are some quick stats to consider for holiday gift card sales: 

· Restaurant gift cards
are the most commonly purchased gift
during the holiday season — 18% of all shoppers purchase a restaurant gift card
as a gift! 

· The average gift card
value in 2015: $47

· 52% of ALL gift card sales for a FSR happen during
the month of December

Gift cards are a quick and easy gifting solution for your
patrons, but more importantly they serve as FREE marketing to help you acquire
new customers. And who doesn’t love free marketing? So how does your restaurant
capitalize on holiday gift card purchases? Here are some best practices: 

1. Start with your website — make sure gift cards can be purchased
online

Whether its egift cards, or you
     literally just mail the gift cards out – this is extremely important as
     customers continue to move toward mobile payments.

2. Create a Gift Card LTO

 Holiday Gift Card LTO ideas

o Purchase $50 gift card, get $10 bonus card ($15 for Black Friday
through cyber Monday)

o Purchase any gift card over $20, get free dessert to go
(tableside offer at end of experience)

o Purchase any gift card over $20, get a free appetizer (tableside
offer at beginning of experience)

3. Define process & have staff ready to fulfill the
orders 

With the holidays, seems to come endless to-do lists for your staff. Make it a priority to educate them on selling gift cards, so when the time comes no one is confused and the gift card selling can be done quickly and effortlessly.

4. Promote the LTO in-house starting before Thanksgiving

It seems like every year Christmas comes up a little faster – Don’t get left behind.  Begin helping your customers think about your gift cards as a great gift option, so when thetime comes they know just where to go.

5.  Create table tents & bathroom posters

These are a simple solution for promoting gift cards to all your customers. Whether they come into your restaurant wanting to purchase gift cards or not, make sure they don’t leave without hearing…err seeing why they make the perfect gift.  

6.  Create staff training & staff contest

Rather than simply cutting your staff a bonus check during the holiday season, try offering an incentive program for the staff member who sells the most gift cards. It could go a long way! You may also want to help them along the way by giving them some quick one liners to help motivate customers to buy gift cards from them!

7.  Promote gift card promotion through email and social
media
 

The internet is the best and fastest way to interact with your customers. With a number of social media network available as well as email communication, invest your time in promoting your gift cards through these outlets. While people are online shopping your marketing will shine through!

8.  Sell gift cards!

Gift Cards are a low-cost marketing tool that can help large or
small restaurants boost sales, and even deepen current customer relationships. However
you choose to promote gift card sales this holiday season, we encourage you to
not miss out on an excellent revenue opportunity! 

-KS

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