Build a gift card program. Boost your revenue. 

Social distancing is reframing the way customers think about the dining experience. Instead of eating at their favorite steakhouse on Friday night, families are hunkering down and abiding by the CDC’s warning. Likewise, as restaurateurs, it’s our job to rethink the way we do business. And it starts with establishing a strong gift card program. Why a gift card program? Not only can it attract new customers but strengthen relationships with existing ones.

Here are three tips to help you build a dynamic gift card program:

Spread the word

Use social media to kick start your plan. Remind followers that gift cards are available for purchase and create a paid social media campaign to drive awareness. Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and advertising credits for qualified small business owners.

Sell gift cards on your website

With social distancing comes amplified screen time. Make it easy for diners to buy gift cards on your website. Create a homepage banner or image carousel to advertise your gift cards. Maybe rework your web copy to promote them, too. Whatever you decide, make sure the message is noticeable. The more in-your-face, the better.

Deals on take-out orders

Run specials on gift cards for take-out orders. For example, every order over $50 receives a $10 gift card, or offer a 10 percent discount on purchases made with a gift card. Yes, these are aggressive offers, but remember, we’re changing the way customers think about the dining experience. The goal is to excite every customer and keep them coming back.

These are unprecedented times, but you’re not alone on the journey. We’re in this together.