Success with Gift Cards

Gift Cards

Gift cards have freed Grandma forever from buying ugly ties (unless she knits them herself, in which case you're in trouble!)

A recent Web survey reveals that 8 out of ten people would rather receive a gift card than any other kind of gift.

Moreover, people feel free to spend more when they pay with a gift card. Average ticket spending and incremental sales increase, to the delight of card-issuing stores. Restaurant operators can confidently expect that gift cards will represent a larger proportion of their total sales in the coming years.

Want to capitalize on this upward trend? You can often manage your gift card program with your POS. If you think a gift card program is too expensive to run, you may wish to reconsider. SpeedLine offers options:

  • Vantiv StoreCard™ is a gift, rewards, and mobile payment card in one. And if you also use Vantiv for credit card processing, you get free, unlimited gift transactions. Vantiv Gift is also supported when using Vantiv Express.
  • Your existing processing network may offer a gift option. SpeedLine supports many 3rd-party gift cards, including Givex and Paytronix, via our payment processing partner, Monetra.

Many SpeedLine customers were "early adopters," and have already seen great results from implementing a gift card program: "We rolled out gift cards in the fall of 2005," says Jon Moss, brand director for Pizza Ranch, "and we're very happy with the growth we've seen through that. We like the fact that we have a solution that is integrated into our POS system. The integration of credit card and gift card through SpeedLine is rock solid. It works very, very well."

While there is no doubt that gift cards are a promising source of increased revenue and new customers for pizza restaurants, your gift card program will require consistent and strategic marketing in order to perform well.

Here are a few tips to help you promote your gift cards:

  • Place your cards in a prominent place in your restaurant and train your staff to point them out to customers.
  • Mention your gift cards every chance you get: On your website, in your newsletter, on your receipts, in your emails, on your pizza boxes, and on signage in your store.
  • Since gift card spending peaks at holiday time, plan your marketing accordingly. The National Retail Federation reports that the average consumer will spend 15.6% of their Christmas budget on gift cards. But don't limit yourself to Christmas: promote your cards year round for other celebrations such as birthdays, Valentine's, Mother's Day or Father's Day. And don't overlook less commercial occasions such as local festivals, graduations, or special days like St Patrick's or Labor Day.
  • Consider adding a special backer or holder for holiday giving. A greeting card holder makes it convenient for shoppers to send their greetings. Or design your gift cards to double as Christmas tree ornaments.
  • Use your gift cards as incentives: Entice first-time guests to come back by handing out a $5 gift card with their check. Or send your best customers a gift card to thank them for their business.
  • Use gift cards to soothe dissatisfied customers: A gift card encourages unhappy guests to come back and give you another chance.
  • Promote your gift cards to local businesses as thank-you gifts for their customers.
  • Place your gift cards with other local businesses for sale or as a co-promotion.
  • Use your cards as part of your community-based marketing: Give them out to schools or church groups to incorporate in their fundraisers.

After all your hard work, look forward to customers coming in with a gift card and spending more than its value. A well-run gift card program will help you expand your revenue, attract new customers and build your brand.