What value of gift vouchers could be sold for a restaurant?
In short, there are no hard and fast rules as to the value and volume of vouchers that could be sold for any restaurant, but several factors will affect the success of this, often highly profitable, revenue stream. Data from One Tree Gift Vouchers* shows that smaller hospitality venues with a strong underlying offer and good local presence can outperform larger operations with a less attractive proposition. For big venues with a great USP, the sky’s the limit.
Business size is therefore not always a determinant of success. The following factors, however, play a key role for any restaurant’s potential for generating gift voucher sales.
Your brand presence
Restaurants with a niche or special brand offering can do particularly well selling gift vouchers. Whether you are known for afternoon teas, succulent steaks or gourmet tasting menus, a wide range of services can be sold as well-presented gift packages.
Know your target market
A gift voucher by its very nature is bought for another person, which makes the purchasing decision slightly more complicated than when buyers are looking for their own dining options. The purchaser is likely to choose a voucher for your venue for one of two reasons:
Firstly they may love eating in the restaurant themselves and want to share this experience with friends and family. Alternatively, they know that the recipient visits your venue, and a gift voucher will be seen as a special treat.
Purchasers may also like the element of choice that giving a monetary gift voucher offers. This creates a thoughtful gift, but with flexibility. It leaves the recipient to make the date and final menu choice themselves. Therefore your target audience is likely to be past guests who who know and like your brand and want to treat someone else, or current customers who tell friends and family that they would like a voucher to use at your venue.
TipMake sure, particularly around annual gift-giving events, that you use both digital promotions (newsletters and social media) and in-house advertising to promote the fact that you have gift vouchers for sale.
The range of experiences
Another driver in the purchase of gifts is the cost and variety of gifts offered. Provide too many options and customers experience buyer overwhelm. Not enough and they may not see a gift which fits with their budget and expectations.
TipConsider the average spend for a meal in your restaurant and establish a range of values or gifts around this price point.
The method used to issue and track gift vouchers
The popularity of gift vouchers has led many restaurants to expand their gift voucher offerings. The key to a smooth and profitable operation is to make purchasing easy and tracking and redeeming vouchers sold. A shop within your website linked to a management portal is a must for businesses where vouchers are redeemed in person. Although purchases of e-gift vouchers can account for up to 70% of sales, physical vouchers should also be available to boost revenues.
TipUse a professional third party with dedicated systems to manage both digital and physical distribution of your vouchers.
Sales patterns increasing value of vouchers sold
Gift voucher sales do not follow a linear pattern throughout the year. Sales are cyclical with some 50% of annual volumes taking place in the final two months before Christmas. Valentine’s, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are other key events that drive voucher sales. Year-round purchases are made for birthdays, anniversaries and to say thank you.
TipCommit to running your gift voucher programme for a minimum of 12 months before evaluating its success. Add focused promotions of gift vouchers into your marketing plans, from social media posts to newsletter features and in-house posters or table promotions.
While selling gift vouchers is never going to be the mainstay of your business, you could be selling a high value of gift vouchers by launching this service. Vouchers offer paid-for recommendations and bring new guests into the venue. The market for gifts, is, however, competitive. Therefore to maximise profits and improve your bottom line, it is important to work with a reliable, experienced voucher company and develop effective marketing strategies around key gift-giving dates.
*Consolidated data compiled from 75 independent UK restaurants