Uno rewards virtual gift card buyers
Uno Chicago Grill, the nation's first casual-dining chain to offer a virtual gift card, is adding a personal touch to its holiday gift card selection by giving people an option to personalize their card with a photo or company logo. And now through Dec. 31, with the purchase of any $25 gift card, buyers also receive a $5 bonus voucher that's valid from Jan. 1 to March 31, 2010. 
 
"With consumers cutting back due to economic pressures, restaurant gift cards will be a popular alternative to retail cards this holiday season because people are more likely to welcome a fun night out," said Rick Hendrie, Uno's senior vice president of marketing. "In this case, you're also rewarded for being generous with a bonus voucher for each $25 purchase."
 
The National Retail Federation's 2009 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey predicts that holiday shoppers will spend less on gift cards this year, with the average person spending $139.91 rather than the $147.33 spent in 2008. However, restaurants are expected to be the second-most popular category for gift cards. Uno's strategy of rewarding a lower-value denomination and focusing their efforts in the growing and convenient online space should put them ahead of predictions.
 
The restaurant's virtual gift cards are available via the chain's website at www.unos.com and are powered by CashStar, the interactive gift card and incentives company. Consumers order them the same way they order a plastic gift card, only the virtual gift card is delivered via an email. Available in denominations from $10 to $100, there are nine unique designs to choose from in addition to the photo option, and each card can be personalized with a message or holiday greeting. UNO also offers plastic gift cards via its website and its restaurants. Both the UNO plastic and virtual gift cards have no expiration date.
 
"UNO's personalized, virtual gift card is quick, easy and ideal for people who enjoy shopping online from the convenience of their home or office," noted Hendrie. "For those who love dining out, it's a wonderful last-minute gift idea."

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