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Not quite ready to start thinking about twinkle lights and tinsel? Is the dreidel a little dusty? It's hard to think about the holidays when it's 80 degrees outside, but if you want to capture every dollar of holiday cheer to ensure a prosperous New Year, now is the time to start planning your restaurant's most profitable marketing promotion…Holiday Gift Certificates.

Gift certificates are pure profit builders. They sell themselves, they're inexpensive to produce, they make festive tabletop merchandising, and they're a great way to reach new customers. Plan your gift certificate program now, before the holiday season becomes overwhelming and the opportunity slips by for another year.

Gift certificates are the perfect last minute gift. A great gift for the boss or secretary, perfect for the doorman, your favorite teacher or the person who has everything. Set your denominations for a variety of price points. While brunch for two or a $50 gift certificate may be too rich for some, a $5 certificate is a great stocking stuffer or thank-you .

Take the work and stress out of the holidays for your customers. Wouldn't you welcome a creative, affordable, and classy alternative to a check in a card?

Design
There are several options for the design of your gift certificates:

  • Pre-printed gift certificates are available in many quick copy operations, or can be ordered from companies like Paper Direct. They come in many festive styles to suit your operation. Just feed them through a laser printer to add your own message.
  • Work with a local print shop or designer to design a gift certificate from scratch. This allows you to be creative and use your own logo.
  • Gift certificates don't have to be traditional printed paper. You can use gold coins, embossed with a dollar amount and your logo, a sample guest check with holiday stickers, even a beribboned to-go box can become a gift certificate with your special personality.

Packaging
Sell the sizzle and the convenience. Gift certificates should be nicely packaged in a gift box or envelope, with a festive ribbon or seal. They should be ready to give as a gift or put under the tree. Try wrapping your gift certificate in a cellophane package with a Christmas cookie or special holiday treat. Finish with a bright ribbon and a name tag. Set one on each table with information. Guests can add them right on to the guest check. They'll fly out the door!

Selling Gift Certificates
All front of the house staff should be prepared to suggest your gift certificates as a holiday gift. Prepare a selling script to be practiced during pre-shift briefings.

For more information on how to set up your own gift certificate program, visit our online store and download our Gift Certificate Special Report.

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