Feb 10, 2023

Gift Cards: The Easy Way to Make Any Restaurant More Successful


Between the food, service, hiring, training, marketing and everything else you do every day-all year long-starting and growing a successful restaurant is not easy. But there is an easy way to contribute to that success: gift cards.

Not only have gift cards been the #1 most requested holiday gift for 16 years in a row,1 but restaurant gift cards are particularly popular. Simply by offering gift cards, you can increase revenue, traffic, ticket size and much more.

Here are just a few of the ways starting or growing your gift card program can help your restaurant be more successful—especially if you work with Blackhawk Network (BHN).


Bring in additional revenue

With a robust gift card program, you can sell your gift cards-physical and digital, in any denominations you like, and with as many different card designs as you like—anywhere in the world to anyone on any device.

That’s a great source of additional annual revenue, but that’s only the beginning.

Research shows that your diners will typically spend more than the value of the card when they use their gift cards.2 That means additional revenue from most of the people receiving gift cards for your restaurant-including those who are new customers. Better yet, the higher the value of the card, the more they’ll spend beyond that value.

gift cards for restaurants


Connect with customers (new and existing)

The customers who connect with you in person and on social media have already proven they’re big fans of your food, your service and your brand. That means they’ll love your gift cards and be glad to give them out as gifts for all kinds of occasions.

A robust gift card program is a big step towards building an army of brand evangelists. When you make it easy for people to buy, send and give your gift cards, they become an extremely effective and efficient tool for connection.

• Connect with loyal customers to make them more loyal

• Connect with recipients to turn them into new customers

• Connect with friends and families of recipients as they become new customers

• Connect with disappointed customers to easily soothe them and incentivize them to return


Drive business with promotions

Since everyone loves gift cards (the #1 most requested, remember), they’ll do almost anything to get one. That makes gift cards the perfect vehicle to encourage your diners (current and future) to alter their behavior to your benefit.

• Want to bring in new diners?

• Want your diners to download your app?

• Want them to try a new menu item?

• Want them to embrace a new payment method?

• Want to encourage them to try you for catering?


Gift card promotions can encourage your customers to help you meet any business goal. And with a robust gift card program, running a promotion (or a bunch of promotions) is easy. Consider these ideas:

• Spend $50 in the restaurant, get a $20 bonus gift card

• Buy a $50 gift card, get a free appetizer

• Spend $100 on gift cards, get 20% off your next meal


Look at our gift card platform

Speaking of robust gift card programs, the industry-leading BHN digital gifting platform is simple to implement and can be easily customized to work with your brand-right on your website. 

Here are a couple of numbers to whet your whistle3:

• You can increase your restaurant’s revenue by 3% or more

• You’ll have a built-in promotional vehicle-gift card promotions are more effective than discounts


Talk to BHN

When you’re ready to start building, growing or optimizing your gift card program, talk to a BHN expert. Just click here to get started or call 866.219.7533.


1. 2022 Holiday by the Numbers, NRF

2. Blackhawk Network EQ Global State of the Union Insights, 2022

3. Blackhawk Network Internal Data, 2019