“It’s no secret that restaurants nationwide are hurting as we combat the spread of COVID-19. Some have closed completely for the time being, while others have shifted all operations to takeout and delivery to keep business moving and guests fed, but even the most loyal guests can only eat so much takeout,” the post said. “So how can restaurants drive revenue without dining rooms, alcohol sales and stellar hospitality? The answer for many has been simple: Promote gift cards.”
Gift cards are essentially interest-free loans from a consumer, the company said, and they’re a good way to get a consumer to come back when a restaurant reopens.
“By selling gift cards now, especially in large sums, restaurants can secure capital and liquidity to enable reopening when the worst of the pandemic is over. Gift cards are also a huge loyalty indicator: These guests are committing to come back, and 80 percent of consumers spend more than the value of their card,” the blog post said.
Paytronix offers restaurants virtual cards that can be bought and delivered right from an eatery’s website. While the lack of person-to-person contact might seem unconventional, especially in the service industry, it aligns with current social distancing guidelines.
Outback Steakhouse, for example, recently offered a $20 “e-Bonus card” when someone purchased $50 in gift cards. And Cameron Mitchell Restaurants said they would donate 100 percent of gift card proceeds toward paying employees who are currently out of work.
“Seek out local partners in your area who are offering platforms to promote your gift card sales, and ensure you’re targeting all of your guests by utilizing all channels of communication: email, social media, your website,” Paytronix said. “Ultimately, remember to keep your message heartfelt and honest. Prepare a narrative as to why you need the support, and what it will mean to your business and your staff. Your guests’ loyalty brought you this far – trust them to see you through this storm, too.”