Restaurant gift card sales appear to be on a strong recovery after a grueling 2020, according to the Paytronix Mid-Year Gift Card 2021 report, months after the start of the pandemic, according to a press release from the company.
The number of cards sold in May and June increased by more than 54% compared to the same period in 2020, accounting for 91% of 2019 gift card sales for the same two months, indicating a healthy recovery.
“Spring break season gift card sales – the first since the start of the pandemic – show a promising recovery,” Lee Barnes, head of Data Insights for Paytronix, said in the statement. “This increase came even as many regions still faced pandemic restrictions. All of this provides good reason to expect a strong winter holiday sales season.”
The report looked at year-over-year comparisons of gift card sales during the spring break period, as well as six-month redemption curves based on factors such as type of service and card type. Highlights included:
- The exchange rate for gift cards sold in 2020 increased in the first seven weeks after purchase, compared to 2019 and 2018. But after nine weeks, the 2020 gift cards were redeemed at a slightly lower rate. lower than in 2019 and significantly lower than 2018. Given that the majority of gift cards were sold at the end of the year, those that would have been redeemed in the first months of 2020 were likely affected by the surge of COVID-19 in the United States
- QSRs have seen redemption rates drop the least. Although the gift cards sold by QSRs in 2020 were redeemed 3.6% less often over six months compared to 2019, this difference was considerably smaller than those of casual eateries and casual fast food restaurants, which saw the exchange rate drop 5.4% and 5.8%. respectively.
- Gourmet gift cards were actually 0.9% more likely to be used within six months than those sold in 2019.
Based in Newton, MA, Paytronix is a provider of SaaS customer experience management solutions for restaurants and convenience stores.