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Restaurant Gift Cards Top List of Most Desired Gift Items

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According to new research from the National Restaurant Association, 72% of people want a restaurant gift card this holiday season. 

“Restaurant gift cards are a perfect gift for anyone on your shopping list; they’re quick and easy to purchase and your friends and loved ones get to pick the meal they want most,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research and knowledge for the association. “A sizable 47% of adults say they are planning to give a restaurant gift card to somebody this holiday season–and among consumers with children in their household, that goes up to a whopping 60%.” 

·More than half of consumers (56%) said they would want a gift card from their favorite restaurant;

·Nearly a quarter (22%) would like to use a gift card to try a new restaurant they haven’t been to before; and

·More than 1 in 5 (21%) would like a gift card for a restaurant they wouldn’t otherwise get to visit.

 Additionally, the research suggests diners have specific plans for their gift cards. Twenty percent say they will use the gift as soon as possible, while 40% plan to save the gift for a special occasion. When they do use them, more than a third (35%) say they will splurge and order more expensive items than usual.

“Ninety percent of people tell us they enjoy going to restaurants, so a gift card is pretty much one size fits all. They are also a good choice for someone who wishes to give an experience rather than a material item,” said Riehle.

The National Restaurant Association commissioned Engine to conduct an online survey of 1,004 adults December 2-4, 2019, asking questions about their perceptions of restaurant gift cards.For more restaurant industry research, visit

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