5 Key Benefits of Gift Cards for Restaurants

Clover cafe

Part 1

As COVID-19 slowly begins to recede, many restaurants are turning to gift card marketing as part of their 2021-22 recovery plan.


Gift cards provide restaurants with an immediate source of revenue – cash that can be incredibly valuable in the early months of recovery. And when things eventually return to business-as-usual, gift cards help bring old customers back to your business and encourage new ones to visit you for the very first time. In fact, 44% of consumers said that gift cards encourage them to try new restaurants that they would not have otherwise visited.

5 Key Benefits of Gift Cards for Restaurants
1. Immediate Cash Flow
Though dining restrictions have been lifted in many places, cash flow is still a major issue for many restaurants. Even for venues that have been able to successfully pivot to a takeout and delivery model, most restaurants are still working to recover the money lost during the height of the pandemic.

Restaurant gift cards are effectively microloans, providing a quick injection of cash – with virtually no cost of goods sold. When customers purchase gift cards, restaurants can use that cash immediately.

2. Brand Awareness
As the pandemic subsides, more and more people are eager to go out and enjoy meals with friends and family. Gift cards are a great way to ensure that customers will remember your restaurant and head to your venue first when business-as-usual resumes.

3. Boost Sales
And when your customers do return, you can expect them to spend a little more. Studies have found that 72% of gift card holders spend more than the original value of the card, which means more money in your pocket at the end of the day. And even in instances where customers spend less than the original value of a gift card, the remaining balance acts as an incentive for the customer to visit again, when they almost certainly will spend more – which is still a gain for your restaurant.

4. Attract New Customers
As your business recovers from COVID-19, attracting new customers is a top priority.  Gift cards allow people who already know and love your restaurant to encourage others to visit by providing a financial incentive to do so.

Gift cards allow your regulars to become brand advocates who vouch for your food and service by encouraging others to try your restaurant out. This can easily translate into a whole new audience for your restaurant with 44% of consumers saying that gift cards encourage them to try new restaurants they would have otherwise overlooked.

5. A Way for Customers to Support Small Business
A growing number of consumers have expressed an interest in supporting small and local businesses. A 2021 study by Mint found that 82% of consumers say they plan to spend more to support local businesses after the pandemic.

Gift cards offer a quick and simple way for patrons to support their favorite local venues (even if they’re not ready to dine in just yet). The same Mint study found that one-third of shoppers in 2020 reported buying more gift cards from small businesses.


Get Started Now with Customer Loyalty Accelerator
Clover merchants now have a terrific new option for cashing in on gift cards and spending-based loyalty rewards.  The Customer Loyalty Accelerator app combines all these features into one simple POS app.  CLA Gift Cards are both digital and physical. Even better, with CLA you get unlimited gift cards for one low monthly fee (only $10 more with the StarterPlus plan option).  See our Pricing page.

See Part 2:
Note:  This article has been adapted from one written by Katherine Pendrill, Content Marketing Manager at TouchBistro