One thing big restaurant chains consistently do well is gift cards. When you walk into a restaurant chain, there's almost always a display of gift cards at the hostess's table. They're easy to buy and use. Smaller restaurants sometimes have trouble selling and using gift cards. Without the technology and organization of a chain, it can be a daunting task. It's more simple than it seems and completely worth it!
Why You Should Sell Gift Cards
1. Promote Customer Loyalty
Gift cards are a great way to give your customers a reason to return to your restaurant. They provide an incentive for your customers to give you their business. If they have a gift card for your restaurant, they're more likely to dine with you rather than another business.
2. Bring in New Business
If you advertise your gift cards as a great option for holiday or birthday presents, your customers may buy them for friends who haven't visited your store. It's free promotion for you! You'll bring in new customers without any cost to you.
3. Compete with Big Businesses
Big chain restaurants have been utilizing gift cards for years. It's time for independent restaurants to compete! Customers will love that they can easily give the gift of a meal in your restaurant to their friends. You'll seem much more professional and established in their eyes.
How You Can Sell and Use Gift Cards
Gift cards are a great asset to your restaurant. They're a great promotional tool that you can easily utilize! Here's how:
1. Use Your POS
If you have a point of sale system (POS) like Square, Oracle Hospitality, and Quickbooks, you can integrate gift cards using only that. You can have either digital gift cards (like Square) or physical gift cards you can scan. You can easily process these gift cards with the POS system you already have.
2. Print Your Own
Before the days of magnetic strips and barcodes, people everywhere used what we call gift certificates. They would just print pieces of paper with the amount of money it's good for. You don't have to make yours that simple, but you can do it without having a POS integration. Just print business-card-style gift cards. You'd have to calculate them manually, but they'd be easy to use.
3. Do it Online
If you have an online ordering system like Shopify, you can easily create online gift cards to be used with your online ordering. Your customers could just keep them in their account on your website. It would be easy for both of you!
Gift cards are a great way to bring loyal customers back and new customers to your restaurant. They can give your establishment a more organized and professional feel while still keeping costs manageable. Your customers will love giving the gift of a meal from your restaurant!
Have you implemented gift cards in your restaurant? Tell us about it in the comments!