Gifted: How Restaurant Apps Have Improved Virtual Gifting

Since 2007, gift cards have been at the top of everyone’s wish list – which is great for business, since the average consumer spends 20 percent more than their gift card’s total amount. And, following department-stores, restaurants are the most popular gift card purchase. Given the rising penetration of smartphone ownership and a growing obsession with mobile everything, it’s no wonder restaurant apps are changing the way we give gifts.

In 2012, nearly $30 billion was spent on gift cards – some digital and some traditional. But by 2015, sixty-one percent of retailers expect to offer mobile gift cards. Why? They’re more profitable, with digital gift cards averaging up to 15 percent more than the amount placed on plastic cards. Here are just a few examples of restaurant apps that have innovated the gift-giving process.

1. Plumfare

Recently acquired by Groupon, Plumfare allows users to snap a photo of the dish or drink they are enjoying and send it off to a friend or loved one with a gift card amount usable at any restaurant. This app opens up virtual gifting for independent restaurants who might not have the capability to launch their own app or gift card registry.

restaurant apps virtual gifting

2. Facebook Gifts

Birthdays are the most popular occasion to give a gift card, with 81 percent of consumers purchasing plastic currency for a friend. Now, with the Facebook “Gifts” icon, guests at restaurants like Jamba Juice and Olive Garden can digitally dole out dollars for a birthday dinner out.

restaurant apps -- virtual gifting

3. Slingr

The Slingr mobile app allows guests to pre-pay for drinks from anywhere in the world. Meaning someone who has to miss their friend’s birthday festivities can still buy the birthday boy or girl a drink – even from across the world.

restaurant apps -- virtual gifting

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