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The Black Hole of Restaurant Gift Cards

What happens after you sell that gift card?

All those annoying gift cards you sell? There’s a very good chance they’ll never be redeemed. Bankrate, a New York City-based consumer financial services company, reports that 51 percent of gift cards (to the tune of $15.3 billion dollars or $116 per American) gather dust or simply disappear. And get this: According to a Paytronix study, the restaurant industry sold six percent more gift cards during the 2021 holiday season than in 2019 (and 57 percent more than in 2020). But given the severe labor shortages, supply chain hang-ups, entitled guests, and all the other mind-bending things, we’re guessing that you’re not too broken up about those gifted experiences going to waste.

Talk to us! Email your experiences (and thoughts, opinions, and questions—anything, really) to askus@diningout.com


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