U.S. restaurant brands pushing gift card sales with bonuses, other incentives for buyers throughout holiday season amid increased spending during this time of year

LOS ANGELES , November 29, 2011 () – U.S. restaurant brands are pushing gift card sales with bonuses and other incentives for buyers throughout the holiday season amid increased spending during this time of year, Nation’s Restaurant News reported Nov. 28.

According to a National Retail Federation survey, an estimated 212 million shoppers spent about US$45 billion in stores and online over the 2011 Black Friday weekend, well above last year’s spending tally. Shoppers spent an estimated $365.30 on average over the long weekend this year, up from last year’s $343.30.

This year, many restaurants are offering prizes, bonus gift cards for buyers and inviting customers to custom-design cards with personal images, messages and specific holiday greetings. Others are looking to use gift cards sales to support charities.

OSI Restaurant Partners is offering a free US$20 bonus card for every $100 gift card purchase through Dec. 31 for use at any of the company’s brands: Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, and Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine.

Also, Bonefish Grill is giving customers the chance to register their bonus cards to win prizes from Dec. 13 through Dec. 24. Additionally, the more than 100-unit Pollo Tropical chain, based in Miami, is offering smart cards featuring 10 offers available at the chain’s restaurants, such as two-for-one deals or $3 off a family meal.

The primary source of this article is Nation’s Restaurant News, New York, New York, on Nov. 28, 2011.

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