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Restaurant gift-cards dress up for the holidays

Restaurant gift-cards dress up for the holidays
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During the 2006 holiday season, restaurant gift-cards sold amounted to $3.4 billion and accounted for 27 percent of total holiday gift card sales, reports Phil Rist, retail analyst at BIGresearch. Rist says his firm expects the trend to continue. In time for the holidays, restaurants around the country, such as Bob Evans Farms, are maximizing gift-card sales with innovative packaging. Bob Evans Farms, which has 579 restaurants in the U.S., recently designed a gift-card packaging program with designer Seastone (www.seastone.com). Seastone says it has provided such packaging, which is available year-round to Subway, Dunkin' Donuts, Cracker Barrel and Panera Bread. The packging materials include paperboard, plastic, tin, and wood, among others. Seastone works with a network of converters and printers to decorate the containers using offset, flexo and screen printing, and others methods depending on requirements. Bob Evans' tinplate box is customized with the Bob Evans logo and related artwork. Says Mary Cusick, vp of restaurant marketing for Bob Evans Farms, “Customers are looking for ways to personalize gift cards. Seastone helps us do that within our brand character.”

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