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Restaurant gift cards appeal to 72% of consumers, survey finds

National Restaurant Association finds 47% of adults plan to give eatery gift card this holiday season

Restaurant gift cards appeal to 72% of people, according to a new survey from the National Restaurant Association.

About 47% of U.S. adults say they plan to give a restaurant gift card this season, according to Hudson Riehle, the Washington, D.C.-based trade association’s senior vice president of research and knowledge. That number rises to 60% among consumers with children in the household, he said.

“Ninety percent of people tell us they enjoy going to restaurants, so a gift card is pretty much one size fits all,” Riehle said. “They are also a good choice for someone who wishes to give an experience rather than a material item.”

The National Restaurant Association’s gift-card survey was conducted online Dec. 2-4 by New York City-based Engine Group and included 1,004 adults. The survey also found:

  • More than half of consumers (56%) said they would want a gift card from their favorite restaurant.
  • Nearly a quarter (22%) would like to use a gift card to try a new restaurant they haven’t been to before; and
  • More than one in five (21%) would like a gift card for a restaurant they wouldn’t otherwise get to visit.

Restaurant Gift Card Research Graphic NRA.jpgCredit: The National Restaurant Association

As for when consumers use their cards, 20% said they would use the gift as soon as possible, while 40% planned to save it for a special occasion. When they do use them, more than a third (35%) said they would splurge and order more expensive items than usual.

Paytronix, the digital guest-experience platform, found gift cards sales among 220 surveyed brands, increase 10% year-over-year in 2018. This year, between Black Friday and the following Sunday, overall gift card sales for the surveyed brands rose nearly 4%, the company said in an early holiday report.

“Restaurant gift cards are a perfect gift for anyone on your shopping list,” Riehle said. “They’re quick and easy to purchase and your friends and loved ones get to pick the meal they want most.”

The National Restaurant Association was founded in 1919 to advocate on behalf of foodservice outlets.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

TAGS: Marketing
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