Restaurants Without a Gift Card Program are Missing Out on Additional Revenues Making Open-Loop/Closed-Loop Restaurant Gift Card Decisions
5-minute read ---
Selecting a gift card program can be a difficult and confusing process for restaurant owners. Do they select a physical or digital card, do they use an open-loop or closed-loop card program, and what happens when they already have a legacy or new gift card program already in place?
There is no right or wrong answer. It depends on (1) what will bring the most value to the business; (2) the flexibility of the gift card program; (3) the cost of the program; and (4) the ease of managing the program for a single or multi-store restaurant operation. However, the simple decision whether a restaurant should offer gift cards to customers is an emphatic YES! For 15 consecutive years gift cards have topped the list of most requested gift items, which means that they are a convenient option for the buyer and well accepted by recipients. Selling gift cards helps businesses expand brand awareness and reach while increasing revenues. Receiving a restaurant gift card means sharing it with family and friends or treating oneself to a more expensive meal or item that one may not typically purchase.
Gift cards sales increase by 100% in the month of December
Gift card sales increase 100% in the month of December. Restaurants can incentivize buyers by providing a free menu item or discount that can be used towards a future visit. Providing incentives for both buyers and recipients throughout the holiday season will influence return visits in the new year to help restaurants abate typical post-holiday lulls.
There are two distinct types of gift card services for restaurants. Open-loop gift card programs are typically offered by banking institutions and give customers the option to use their gift card at a variety of businesses, regardless of their affiliation. Closed-loop gift card program redemptions are through certain credit card processors, and customers can only redeem their gift card at the restaurant where it was purchased or within the same affiliated restaurant group. For most independent restaurants, utilizing a closed-loop gift card program is a good starting point because it is the easiest to customize, implement, and track. It also has less complicated terms than open-loop gift card programs. However, a branded closed-loop gift card program and open-loop collective gift card program can certainly coexist.
Promotes the restaurant brand and business
Independent restaurant gift cards feel more personalized
Ensures gift card recipients return to your restaurant to use it
Typically free to activate for the user
Gift cards that are purchased but never used become profit for the business
Allows restaurants to make money on the products purchased using the gift card
Customers typically purchase more than what the value of the gift card covers, so business profits increase
Limited flexibility – can only be used at a single restaurant or affiliated restaurants
Able to use at any business that can process credit cards
Flexibility of usage like cash
Normally requires an activation fee for the user or purchaser
Limited control of where the gift card is used, so restaurants may not gain profit benefits
Aldelo Express Cloud POS offers a native “closed-loop” multi-store digital gift card solution to users at no additional cost, as part of the Masa+ customer-facing suite of solutions. The Masa+ Gift Card program is available on the Aldelo Marketplace, easily accessible from any Aldelo Express POS station. The program is securely hosted on the Aldelo Express restaurant technology cloud platform and is seamlessly integrated with Aldelo Express Cloud POS and the Masa+ Online Ordering solution. Unlike third-party gift card solutions, restaurants never pay monthly fees, transaction fees, or need to invest in additional hardware to run the Masa+ Gift Card program.
Masa+ Gift Cards are QR code-based, redeemable both in-store and online
Owners and operators manage one gift card program: selling, redeeming, and reloading gift cards for single or multiple stores. All Masa+ digital Gift Card transactions are immediately posted on the Aldelo Express cloud back-office, providing operators access to online reports available anytime and anywhere to monitor instore and online sales.
Masa+ is a QR-code based gift card solution that allows owners and operators to transition from an existing gift card program with physical gift cards to the Masa+ digital Gift Card program by simply applying a Masa+ QR code to existing cards. This provides a tremendous cost savings by not having to replace existing physical cards and revamp systems for managing legacy card balances and redemptions. When operators exhaust legacy physical card inventories and customer balances, operators seamlessly transition to Masa+ digital Gift Cards while maintaining the option of issuing traditional physical cards based on customer preference.
Masa+ supports physical and digital QR code-based gift card programs
Going digital with Masa+ means gift cards are issued electronically and delivered securely to customers via text or email from the Aldelo Express Cloud POS in real-time. Customers can directly purchase and share Masa+ digital Gift Cards with family and friends for immediate use in store or online. Masa+ users can scan QR codes on receipts to instantly pay orders, see updated gift card balances, and easily reload cards for ongoing usage.
Masa+ digital Gift Cards are also redeemable at Aldelo Express self-service kiosks and any in-house terminal, enabling faster and easier customer payments in any restaurant environment, including food trucks.
For “multi-store” operations, above-store management of the Masa+ Gift Card Program allows operators to effectively manage purchases and redemptions across all stores ensuring individual stores are financially credited and reconciled related to gift card sales and acceptance. Operators easily assist customers who lose or forget cards, resolving the issue in minutes instead of hours or days later.
Watch the video below to learn more about the Masa+ “multi-store” digital Gift Card Program and how it helps restaurants expand its brand and reach more customers, or visit www.masa.plus
Restaurants that use “ultra-competitive” Aldelo Pay or Aldelo Partner Merchant Services receive a Centralized Multi-Store Restaurant Technology Platform at ZERO COST including Aldelo Express Cloud POS, Masa+ Online Ordering, Unlimited Licenses, Software Releases, Software Upgrades and 24/7 Technical Support