New research from the National Restaurant Association shows that one in five Americans surveyed plan to give a restaurant gift card as a holiday gift this year. However, more than twice as many (59 percent) said they would like to receive a restaurant gift card, indicating a potential restaurant gift card deficit in Christmas stockings across America.

“Restaurant gift cards are high on the list of gifts consumers wish to receive this holiday season,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the NRA. “A gift card to a restaurant makes for a flexible gift that allows recipients to use it next time they visit their favorite restaurant or save it for a special occasion, such as a birthday or anniversary. It’s the perfect choice for those who wish to provide friends and family with an experience rather than a material item.”

The research shows that 65 percent of women surveyed are somewhat more likely than men (52 percent) to want to receive a restaurant gift card this holiday.

In addition, of those who would like to receive a restaurant gift card as a holiday gift this year, 58 percent prefer that gift card to be for their favorite restaurant. Twenty-nine percent would like gift cards to be for restaurants they haven’t been to before, and 11 percent said they would like gift cards for a restaurant that they likely wouldn’t visit if they didn’t have a gift card.

When it comes to using restaurant gift cards, 44 percent of those who wish to receive a restaurant gift card as a gift said they would use it within a few weeks; 43 percent said they would save it for a special occasion; and 12 percent said they would use it as soon as possible.

The NRA surveyed 1,006 American adults Dec. 8-11 about their dining and restaurant gift card plans for the upcoming holiday season.

Read more about trends and statistics.

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