Restaurant Gift Cards Begin to Rebound in 2021: Report

Restaurant Gift Cards Begin to Rebound in 2021: Report

August 19, 2021

After a trying 2020, restaurant gift card sales and redemptions made a strong recovery in the first half of 2021, according to a new report. As gift card redemptions climb out of the hole caused by the pandemic, merchants should expect gift card fraud to rise.

The Paytronix Mid-Year Gift Card Report: 2021 found during the important May-June period (Moms, Dads and Grads), gift card sales were 54 percent higher than they were during the same period in 2020.

The redemption rate for gift cards sold in 2020 tracked higher during the initial seven weeks after purchase, as compared to 2019 and 2018. But after the nine-week mark, 2020 gift cards were redeemed at a rate that was slightly lower than 2019 and significantly lower than 2018.

“Gift card sales from the spring holiday season—the first since the pandemic began to wane—sho promising recovery,” said Lee Barnes, head of Data Insights for Paytronix. “This surge happened even as many areas still faced pandemic restrictions. All of this provides a good reason to expect a strong winter holiday sales season.”

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