With the appropriate gift card program partner, restaurants can simultaneously boost sales and build a strong brand.

Restaurants have had to make swift adjustments in reaction to changing public health restrictions, customer fear, economic uncertainty, and supply chain interruptions as a result of the pandemic and its aftereffects.

The restaurant industry was looking forward to meeting pent-up demand and generating money to make up for the lost time, as Covid-19 began to enter the endemic phase. Unfortunately, the country faced its worst inflation in 40 years.

Theoretically, increased wages should leave more money in people’s pockets to spend at restaurants, but consumers have also been caught off guard by inflation and are now spending more on groceries and fuel than they were a year ago. Eating out has become more expensive as a result of restaurants having to pass on rising expenses for essential supplies to customers. Restaurants are having trouble retaining personnel due to an unusual labor shortage, which exacerbates the issue.

However, restaurants can use a gift card program to mitigate the effects of inflation. A gift card program can boost sales and foster more patron loyalty for restaurants when implemented on the right platform and with a strong strategy. Here’s a closer look at how a gift card program might provide eateries an edge over their rivals during a challenging economic climate.

Gift cards keep the brand front and center while driving incremental revenue:

Gift cards can be used to increase brand awareness for restaurants that are new to a location or for existing companies seeking fresh ways to keep their logo in customers’ minds. Restaurants can take advantage of the chance to leave a lasting impression that turns a first-time visitor into a regular as up to 40% of gift card users will be new to the industry. Moreover, if a gift card program reaches a certain level of maturity, restaurant owners can anticipate growth in sales of between 5 and 10%.

Gift cards are ideal for rewarding loyalty and making amends for service shortfalls:

Gift cards can be used by restaurant owners to reward their clients which in return promotes further patronage. Gift cards are a fantastic approach to make up with clients when subpar service is provided. That’s crucial right now, given that the first quarter of 2022 saw a threefold spike in customer complaints about service on Yelp due to a labor shortage.

Gift cards can be used as an incentive during restaurant promotions:

To increase patronage during a promotion, restaurant owners can leverage gift cards. Giving customers a $15 gift card if they spend $50 at the restaurant during a promotion, for instance, can entice more people to the restaurant and promote repeat business when they use the gift card.

Gift cards can encourage users to spend more than the face value of the card:

Overspending, or making purchases that are greater than the value of the card, is another way that gift cards generate extra income. According to a study, 80 percent of customers who use gift cards at fast service and fine dining restaurants spend more than the face value of their bill.
Although gift cards are frequently given as gifts (as the name suggests), people also utilize them as a financial planning tool by buying gift cards for later usage.

Restaurant gift cards can increase repeat business, foster customer loyalty, and generate a sizable amount of additional revenue whether they are bought by the recipient themselves or received as a present. But not all gift card programs are created equal, therefore it’s essential to build a successful plan before a gift card program is introduced.

Conclusion

Who will be in charge of card manufacturing, processing, promotion, and distribution? How can restaurants be sure they are adhering to all relevant rules and laws? How will fraud claims be handled? The answers to these queries are crucial since launching a gift card program without knowledge of the card industry might jeopardize program effectiveness or possibly expose one to legal risk.

By collaborating with gift card program specialists who handle crucial aspects, such as legal concerns, fraud, regulation, finance, and marketing, many restaurants assure program success and steer clear of compliance issues. Restaurant owners can focus on their main businesses by outsourcing their gift card programs, but it’s crucial to make sure the partner has experience in the field and a proven track record of success in developing programs and protecting partner businesses.

It’s also crucial to keep in mind that companies that manage gift card programs may have other businesses as their main customers. Finding a partner who prioritizes the restaurant over a distributor, like a grocery store, or loyalty program is preferable. The restaurant’s gift card program can be successfully managed and handled by a full-service gift card program provider.

Inflation is still high despite falling fuel prices, consumers are paying more when they buy goods and services and travel to their preferred eateries. But by offering incentives and recognizing loyalty, restaurant owners can aid patrons in avoiding inflationary impacts. With the appropriate gift card program partner, restaurants may simultaneously boost sales and forge a powerful brand.

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