More than one-quarter of Americans plan to give restaurant gift cards

Restaurant gift cards are reported to be a hot item this holiday season, demonstrating customer satisfaction and loyalty with consumers' favorite food hubs.

Restaurant gift cards are reported to be a hot item this holiday season, demonstrating customer satisfaction and loyalty with consumers' favorite food hubs.

According to new research from the National Restaurant Association, 26 percent of Americans plan to give a restaurant gift card to friends or family members this year. However, the study found this number is lower than it should be, as 59 percent of respondents said they would like to receive a gift card.

While more than half of respondents - 58 percent - said they would like a gift card to their favorite restaurant, 29 percent preferred restaurants they have never been to and 11 percent would opt for a card to an eatery to which they would otherwise never think to go.

"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," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the research and knowledge group for the National Restaurant Association. "It's the perfect choice for those who wish to provide friends and family with an experience rather than a material item."

The Daily Meal suggested that part of the enthusiasm around gifting restaurant credit may be attributed to the ready availability of such cards at grocery and department stores.