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How to Promote Gift Certificates for a Restaurant By Maggie Worth, eHow Contributor

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Offering gift certificates and gift cards is a wise way for restaurants to spend advertising dollars. As "Food and Beverage Underground" points out, certificates offer a number of benefits to your restaurant, including bringing new customers to your restaurant, interest-free capital and the likelihood that those redeeming the certificate will spend more than face value, increasing your sales. Restaurants can promote their gift cards or certificate programs in many ways.

Instructions

  • 1. Include gift certificate advertising in your off-site ads. Add a line about your certificate program to all print ads, coupons, radio and TV spots. Remind fans of your gift card program on your social media sites, especially around holidays.

  • 2. Consider offering customer promotions. For example, a coffee shop might say, "Buy $20 in gift certificates and receive a free medium espresso drink of your choice." Another restaurant might say, "Receive a free $10 gift card for every $50 of gift cards you purchase."

  • 3. Talk with local businesses about using your gift cards as employee or client rewards. For example, an IT company looking for a fun and affordable employee-relations program might give each employee a $3 gift card to the local ice cream parlor on the employee's birthday or company anniversary.

  • 4. Consider donating gift certificates to local charity events. Your contribution will catch the attention of attendees and organization members, and it will remind people that you offer a certificate program.

  • 5. Advertise within your store. Put table tents on each table and fliers on the insides of each restroom stall door. Place a gift-card insert in each menu. Place signage at the point of purchase. If your guests check out at a register, create a gift card display by each register.

  • 6. Train your servers to offer and explain the gift card program to all customers. Consider offering monthly server promotions. Award the server with the highest total dollar value of card sales and the highest number of individual card sales with a bonus or other incentive. Set a minimum amount of sales to qualify for the contest.

  • 7. Check your register and credit card processing systems to see if you can add a promotion line at the bottom of each check and/or credit card receipt. If so, include a line such as, "If you enjoyed your meal, give someone else a chance to experience us--ask your server about our gift cards." If your systems makes it easy to change the message, adjust your messages to reflect the season.

Maggie Worth

Maggie Worth has more than 18 years of marketing and business management experience. She has conducted training classes in resume, fiction and web writing and has written textbooks, resumes, professional and technical documents, ad copy, video scripts and articles for lifestyle magazines. She is director of marketing communications strategy and special projects for a university.

Original article published on eHow.com

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