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Restaurant Gift Cards Top The List in Consumers’ Wish Lists This Holiday Season

The National Restaurant Association predicts that these holiday seasons, among the hottest presents Americans will receive are restaurant gift cards. This collaborates with a recent survey done by the National Retail Federation, which says that restaurant gift cards comes next to department store gift certificates as people’s choices for presents this year.

The countdown has started for Christmas, and everyone’s panic-buying for gifts. Shoppers take great efforts to pick the best gift for their friends and family without going beyond their budget. Indeed, finding the most appropriate and useful gift for someone seems to be the most daunting task in shopping these days. And businesses have found the perfect solution, offering people the gift of choice.

Gift cards are apparently the best answer to confusions and doubts when it comes to gift-giving. And it also turned out to be one of the most requested holiday gifts this season.

The National Retail Federation, in a survey called NRF’S 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions , found out that 8 out of 10 shoppers intend to give gift cards as presents this year. The survey also noted that the total forecasted spending on gift cards reach $27.8 billion this year, consistent with survey results that say gift cards continue to top in consumers’ wish lists for the holidays.

The percentage of consumers who plan to buy gift cards for the holidays this year, which reached 80.2%, turned out to be higher than last year’s tally of 77.3%. As to the kind of gift cards consumers plan to give, 38.7% says they’ll purchase from department stores, 33.8% claims they will get restaurant gift cards, 18.2% will go for entertainment venues, 19.8% plans to buy gift certificates at bookstores, 15.9% will buy from coffee shops, and 13% plans to get gift cards from discount stores.

The National Restaurant Association concurs to this, saying that giving away restaurant gift cards have been increasing steadily the past years during the winter holiday season. According to them, 32% of consumers received restaurant gift cards last year, and 78% of adults are saying that they love the idea of receiving restaurant gift certificates during gift occasions. The recession has stifled the dining habits of a lot of Americans, and a restaurant gift card allows a diner to enjoy great food at a restaurant without the concerns of paying the bill delivered in the restaurant’s leather check presenter afterwards.

Most major chains are now offering gift certificates or the option to purchase prepaid cards. Restaurants like T.G.I. Friday’s, Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster, Applebee’s, Chili’s, El Pollo Loco, IHOP, Jack in the Box, PF Changs and Pizza Hut, among many others, are all into the game. Even local, Independent restaurants are hopping in, knowing that this option brings guaranteed business—they don’t have to anticipate the bill that would show up in the check presenter anymore, knowing that it’s long been paid for.

Gift cards as gifts are most convenient, too, as most restaurants offer the option to shop for a gift card online—customers need not leave home to get one.