Black Friday Restaurant Gift Card Sales Show Huge Hunger for Fine Dining

Paytronix analysis suggests that people are looking to get out and celebrate in 2022

NEWTON, Mass., Nov. 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In an examination of Black Friday restaurant gift cards sales, Paytronix Systems, Inc., the most advanced digital guest experience platform, found that people are hopeful as they look forward to 2022, and expecting to be dining out more than ever. This year consumers snapped up gift cards from Fine Dining restaurants in greater numbers than Paytronix has seen since it started reporting Black Friday gift card sales in 2018. That huge lift, however, does not translate across all sectors. When quick service and fast casual brands are considered, gift card sales are up as compared with 2020, but still off their 2019 highs.

Overall, restaurants sold 22.6% more individual gift cards in 2021 as compared with 2020. When it comes to dollars loaded on those cards, the industry saw a 43% increase across all cards, which translates to an average increase of 16.6% in dollars loaded per card. When compared to pre-pandemic numbers, restaurants this year sold 22.3% fewer cards than in 2019 and loaded 19.1% less in funds.

“It's clear that, coming out of the pandemic, people want to treat themselves and others, and are hopeful as they look into the future. Last year we saw huge drops in the sale of fine dining gift cards. That trend has not just reversed but has been entirely overcome. This suggests that people are looking forward to dining out with friends in 2022 and are ready for a spectacular guest experience,” said Paytronix CEO Andrew Robbins.

The hunger for Fine Dining gift cards aligns with research released by the National Restaurant Association, which found that 62% of consumers hoped to receive a restaurant gift card this holiday season. When asked when they plan to use the cards, 24% said they would use them as soon as possible; 38% said they would use theirs within a few weeks; another 38% said they would save it for a special occasion.

Paytronix analyzed the anonymous aggregate gift card sales for 163 brands from Friday, November 26 2021, through Sunday, November 28, 2021. Paytronix identified the following changes in 2021 Black Friday gift card sales when compared to those for previous years:

  • Fine Dining customers bought 89.1% more cards this year and 72.8% increase in amount loaded over last year with an average load of $145 per card.
  • Quick Service card sales declined 15% when compared with the same weekend last year and 7.9% less loaded on cards overall, but people spent $19.68 on average per card, up $1 from 2020.
  • Fast Casual restaurants saw a 27.9% lift in overall card sales and a 32.3% increase in funds loaded with the average card coming in at $27.96, slightly less than $1 more from the previous year.

This Black Friday gift card sales analysis is the first stage of a larger holiday gift card data analysis that will publish later this month. This research will supplement the Paytronix Annual Gift Card Sales Report: 2020, which surveys over 200 brands about their annual gift card sales over the course of the year. Paytronix offers an in-depth look into holiday gift card sales, sales by channel and service type, anticipated redemption, and new insights on eGift cards. With the online ordering industry expanding, the Report also examines the impact of gift cards redeemed online.


Following trends in closed-loop restaurant gift card sales, the Paytronix Black Friday Gift Card Sales Research includes data from gift card sales from November 26, 2021 through November 28, 2021, and includes 163 brands. The majority of the brands are full-service restaurants.

Paytronix Systems, Inc.
Based in Newton, Massachusetts, Paytronix is a provider of SaaS customer experience management (CXM) solutions for restaurants and convenience stores. Through its innovative software design and integrations with more than 30 widely used point-of-sale systems, Paytronix empowers more than 500 brands across 30,000 locations, giving them the flexibility to deliver unique, revenue-enhancing guest experiences. Through one-to-one engagement with more than 285 million guests via Order & Delivery, Loyalty, CRM, and Stored Value, Paytronix generates Big Data consumer insights that motivate increased visits and spend. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Chuck Tanowitz
Paytronix Systems, Inc.