A lot of restaurants are going through a tough time right now. They have had to close shop, lay off some employees. Some have got the means to go Take-Out and Delivery. Some of them could not. When you have a community the easiest way to get support from them to assist your business and your employees is to get your clients to buy gift cards.
Of course this is not only for restaurants, but for all businesses that will have to face potential closure to the public.
However, we will look into three restaurant clients of ours that are working with gift cards, gift certificates and selling them from their website.
Buy Gift Cards in time of crisis
While in time of crisis, like we are in at this time, people have a good heart and are willing to support their local eatery. There is a few reasons behind all this. They want to support people that bring them joy, and a good meal is a very good way of doing such thing. Now if you can’t have your “favorite” pizza, sushi roll, or any other kind of dish. And like me you are a creature of habit, and would not have it anywhere else… You would rather wait, and have it again when they re-open.
Reaching out to your community
Imagine if all this happened a few years ago and you had to call all your clientele. And you would tell them you will be closed but have gift certificates for sale. Now for the past ten to fifteen years, we have social media networks that will help us with that. You can let everyone know by using social media posts, and your clientele can also engage by sharing this to their network, allowing you to reach second degree connections easily. Your clientele can also be reached through your email marketing list. This is definitely a more direct way and trackable data stream. You are able reach people that you know are current clients directly in their inbox. You can send the directly to a purchase link on your website. This is conversion to purchase in a few clicks.
Selling Gift Cards Online
We developed gift card sales on three restaurant clients, and they are using different gift systems. Let’s look how they handle the process.
First of All, let’s look at Ono Hawaiian Plates in Minnesota, and Miso Phat in Kihei, HI. They are selling gift cards all year round on their store. There is a peak around the holiday season. After you purchase a card from them, you will be mailed a paper gift certificate. This online model works very well for them.
Ambrogio15, that has been featured in our articles quite heavily recently, are selling gift cards online as well. They use their Point of Sale System to load actual gift cards with magnetic strips. You buy gift cards, they get loaded on the Point of Sale system, then get shipped to you. This is much easier to track for you as a restaurant owner.
Providing Specials to encourage purchases
In an effort to encourage gift card purchases in this time of crisis, Ambrogio15 owners decide to sell gift cards at a steep discount for a couple weeks. Those gift cards will be valid for dine-in only when the restrictions are lifted and life gets back to normal.
Monday March 16th we launched an email marketing campaign to their database of 1500 contacts, as well as a couple posts on social media networks. The first day of the campaign, 40 gift cards were purchased, 13 the next day and 3 on the third day. The Decrease of the gift cards purchase over time after the campaign gets sent.
Now let’s look at the data. Out of that campaign, 63% of the revenue came from the Email Marketing Campaign – while 48% of the orders came from the email. Meaning that the revenue per order is higher for clients that are part of the Email Marketing database.
Three days after the first campaign, we are about to send another email marketing campaign to get the attention of some of their clients who didn’t see the email come-in. and will see what stream of revenue it will generate the second time around. We will be updating the article with more stats.
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