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Many restaurant operators never fully realize the potential of their gift card program. This blog offers tips on how to improve your gift card program.

 

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Kansans Most Likely to Purchase Restaurant Gift Cards

Posted By Neeley Carlson, Thursday, December 15, 2016
As the holiday season continues, it's important to understand how to position your restaurant for additional sales opportunities. Restaurants have a unique position as a breakfast, lunch and dinner option during a busy holiday season when families might want to choose an option outside of the home.

 

The ease of going out to eat, rather than fixing a meal means your business has many more opportunities to sell gift cards or gift certificates. KRHA recently surveyed over 500 Kansas to determine what types of gift cards were most likely to be purchased during the holiday season and the winner was clear..

If you plan on purchasing a gift card for someone this holiday season, which of the following will it be for?
  • Restaurants: 43%
  • Clothing/Department Stores: 27.5%
  • Entertainment (Movies, Music, Games) 26.6%
  • Prepaid Debit Card (Visa, Amex) 20.9%
  • Other 3.6%
Having a gift certificate or gift card option will generate more revenue opportunities for your restaurant. Extra tip, share that your restaurant sells gift cards or gift certificates.

 

Tags:  gift cards  gift certificates  restaurant management 

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Federal Gift Card Regulations

Posted By Neeley Carlson, Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What you need to know: Federal gift card regulations

 

Restaurants that sell gift certificates and gift cards need to know about rules governing expiration dates, fee restrictions, and wording on gift cards and gift certificates.  The law is part of Congress’s Credit CARD Act of 2009 and took effect Aug. 22, 2010.

 

The consumer-protection measure:

  •  Limits on expiration dates. The money on your gift card will be good for at least five years from the date the card is purchased. Any money that might be added to the card at a later date must also be good for at least five years. 
  •  Replacement cards. If your gift card has an expiration date you still may be able to use unspent money that is left on the card after the card expires. For example, the card may expire in five years but the money may not expire for seven. If your card expires and there is unspent money, you can request a replacement card at no charge. Check your card to see if expiration dates apply. 
  • Fees disclosed. All fees must be clearly disclosed on the gift card or its packaging.
  •  Limits on fees. Gift card fees typically are subtracted from the money on the card. Under the new rules, many gift card fees are limited. Generally, fees can be charged if
    •  you haven't used your card for at least one year, and
    •  you are only charged one fee per month.
  • These restrictions apply to fees such as:
    • dormancy or inactivity fees for not using your card,
    • fees for using your card (sometimes called usage fees),
    •  fees for adding money to your card, and
    •  maintenance fees. 

  

The law applies to gift certificates and cards, as well as general-use gift cards that can be used anywhere, such as those issued by Visa and American Express. The law does not apply to rewards cards or reloadable prepaid cards not intended for use as gift certificates.

Under the new law, gift-card and gift-certificate recipients can use card balances for at least five years from the date the card is purchased, or at least five years after any money is added to the card, whichever is longer.

 

The National Conference of State Legislatures web site offers more information.

 

Tags:  gift cards  gift certificates 

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Kansas Gift Certificate Regulations

Posted By Neeley Carlson, Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, December 13, 2016

During the 2006 legislative session, KRHA fought hard for amendments to protect our industries from an onerous gift certificate bill which would have hampered both gift cards marketing and charitable gift certificates used heavily by restaurant, lodging, and hospitality businesses.  As a result HB 2658 was passed.  Below is a summary of the bill.  

 

Gift Certificates and Gift Cards - HB 2658 makes it a violation of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act, after January 1, 2007, to sell a gift card or gift certificate containing an expiration date of less than five years from the date of purchase. Provides that a merchant shall not be required to redeem a gift card or gift certificate for cash. Also, no fees may be charged against the balance of a gift card or gift certificate within 12 months from the date of issuance of the card.  An expiration date may apply if the date is printed on the front of the gift certificate or gift card in the following situations: Gift certificates or gift cards that are distributed by the issuer to a consumer without any money or other thing of value being given in exchange for the gift certificate or gift card by the consumer; or gift certificates or gift cards that are sold below face value at a volume discount to employers or to nonprofit and charitable organizations for fund-raising purposes. Signed into law, effective date 7/1/06.

 

 

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