As the world emerges from the pandemic, the restaurant industry has witnessed shifts in gift card sales trends. Paytronix’s Restaurant Gift Card Sales Report: 2023 reveals intriguing insights into how full-service restaurants (FSRs) and quick-service restaurants (QSRs) have experienced changes in gift card purchases. Additionally, inflation has influenced guest spending habits, leading to an upsurge in higher-value gift cards. In this blog, we explore the key findings of the report, highlighting the gift card sales patterns and redemption profiles observed in the first half of 2023.
Gift Card Sales Trends
The report underscores that FSRs have observed an increase in gift card sales as the pandemic recedes. On the other hand, QSRs, which experienced a boost in gift card purchases during the pandemic, have seen a decline in sales. This shift reflects changing consumer behaviours and preferences as dining patterns evolve.
The months of November and December consistently witness a significant surge in gift card sales, accounting for nearly half of the total annual sales. Interestingly, a second spike in sales occurs in May and June, colloquially known as the “Moms, Dads, and Grads” period, when many celebrate important milestones. Other first-half-of-the-year holidays, such as Valentine’s Day and Easter, also contribute to increased gift card purchases.
The report delves into the redemption patterns of gift cards tracked by Paytronix. Notably, the redemption rates at 180 days for cards sold in 2022 stood at 57%. Although this figure is relatively stable compared to 2022, it remains lower than the pre-pandemic levels observed in 2019.
One noteworthy trend is the difference in redemption rates between QSRs and FSRs. While QSR gift card redemptions have contributed to the overall lower redemption rate, fine-dining establishments have achieved a new high in redemption rates in 2022. This disparity could be attributed to consumer preferences for dine-in experiences in high-end restaurants as the world reopens and restrictions ease.
Physical vs. E-Gift Cards
Around Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, the report identifies trends related to the preference for physical versus electronic gift cards. These holidays prompt a demand for tangible, sentimental gifts, leading to increased sales of physical gift cards. On the other hand, throughout the year, e-gift cards have gained popularity due to their convenience and suitability for last-minute gifting.
Download the report
The Restaurant Gift Card Sales Report 2023 from Paytronix provides valuable insights into the evolving landscape of gift card sales in the restaurant industry. The pandemic’s impact on consumer behaviour, combined with inflationary pressures, has shaped gift card purchase patterns. As the industry adapts to changing preferences, fine-dining establishments have experienced heightened redemption rates, while QSRs have navigated fluctuations in sales.
The report serves as a valuable resource for restaurant operators and marketers seeking to understand and leverage the trends in gift card sales. As we look ahead to the rest of 2023, it will be intriguing to observe how consumer habits continue to evolve and shape the future of the restaurant gift card market.