Twenty-six percent of Americans plan to give restaurant gift card as holiday gift this year, NRA says; 59% would like to receive restaurant gift card

WASHINGTON , December 15, 2011 (press release) – New research from the National Restaurant Association shows that one in five Americans (26 percent) plan to give a restaurant gift card as a holiday gift this year. However, more than twice as many (59 percent) say they would like to receive a restaurant gift card, indicating a potential restaurant gift card deficit in Christmas stockings across America.

“Restaurant gift cards are high on the list of gifts consumers wish to receive this holiday season,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the National Restaurant Association. “A gift card to a restaurant makes for a flexible gift that allows recipients to use it next time they visit their favorite restaurant or save it for a special occasion, such as a birthday or anniversary. It’s the perfect choice for those who wish to provide friends and family with an experience rather than a material item.”

The National Restaurant Association’s research shows that women (65 percent) are somewhat more likely than men (52 percent) to want to receive a restaurant gift card this holiday, but Americans across age groups are equally likely to enjoy a gifted restaurant gift card.

In addition, of those who would like to receive a restaurant gift card as a holiday gift this year, 58 percent prefer that gift card to be for their favorite restaurant. Twenty-nine percent would like gift cards to be for restaurants they haven’t been to before, and 11 percent said they would like gift cards for a restaurant that they likely wouldn’t visit if they didn’t have a gift card.

When it comes to using restaurant gift cards, 44 percent of those who wish to receive a restaurant gift card as a holiday gift said they would use it within a few weeks; 43 percent said they would save it for a special occasion; and 12 percent said they would use it as soon as possible.

The National Restaurant Association surveyed 1,006 American adults on December 8-11 about their dining and restaurant gift card plans for the upcoming holiday season.

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Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 960,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of nearly 13 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry's largest trade show (NRA Show May 5-8, 2012, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart, including the National ProStart Invitational April 27-29, 2012, in Baltimore, Md.); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids' menu options. For more information, visit and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.

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