Restaurant Gift Cards: The Holiday Gift That Keeps On Giving

LOS ANGELES , December 18, 2019 () – My company recently had a Secret Santa gift exchange this year, with each person writing down a few things they’d be interested in as gifts. One of the things I wrote down was a gift card to Taco Bell. My reasoning was simple: I like Taco Bell, I’ve been going there fairly often recently, I like free food and a gift card is basically free food.

The result: My co-worker Francisco picked my name out of the hat and got me my requested Taco Bell gift card. And I got two bean burritos and a Nacho Supreme.

Restaurant gift cards are a popular item this holiday season, according to a new survey from the National Restaurant Association (NRA), which said such gift cards appeal to 72% of people. About 47% of U.S. adults say they plan to give a restaurant gift card this season, according to Hudson Riehle, the NRA’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 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.

As for when consumers use their cards, 20% said they would use the gift as soon as possible (like I did), 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.

Restaurant gift cards: The gift that keeps on giving this holiday season.

Nevin Barich is the Food and Beverage Analyst for Industry Intelligence, which can help YOU better address your own industry challenges. We invite you to come take a look at our service.Call us today at 310-553-0008 and we’ll schedule you for a 15-minute demo.

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