The York Gift Card is boosting business

The York Gift Card has reached a milestone £200,000 of gift cards sold, with city restaurants, cafés and eateries amongst the most popular places for people to spend their cards.

Launched in 2019, the card can be spent at almost 300 shops, restaurants, hotels, attractions and services, making it one of the biggest local gift card initiatives in the UK.

Led by York BID, sales have increased yearly, with £74,000 of cards sold in 2022.

The body says of businesses who receive the card, 91 per cent enjoy higher sales, with seven of the top 11 businesses receiving the card being hospitality venues.

Operations Manager of York BID Carl Alsop said the York Gift Card continues to grow in popularity and impact: “In 2022, two thirds of people spent more than the value of their gift card on redemption, with 43 per cent spending £10 more on a £30 gift card, 10 per cent spending £50 more, and 6.6 per cent spending £100 more. Taking the overspend into account, the true value of the York Gift Card to our city is considerably higher.”

Ambiente Tapas, who have restaurants at Goodramgate, Fossgate and Walmgate, said the cards promote York and its independent businesses.

Group manager Rob Scott-South said: “Gift cards can be boring because they limit the recipient. The York Gift Card on the other hand is appealing because it features lots of fantastic businesses, giving the recipient freedom of where to spend, so they can use it for a whole experience of York.”

The family-run Ate O’Clock restaurant in High Ousegate said the card is helping people enjoy a good night out during the cost-of-living crisis.

The restaurant’s Emily Crampton said: “The York Gift Card is brilliant for us because when people are looking to eat out using their card, we pop up as an option, and it brings people through the door to try us out, often becoming regular customers. Having a gift card is also like free money, so people will be more experimental, try new things and treat themselves to an extra course or a bottle of wine.”

Betty’s cafe also praised the card.

York branch manager Carol Hanson said: “Families might put together a package for parents’ celebrations and the York Gift Card gives them the flexibility to choose where they want to go.”

The York Gift Card is part of the award winning Town & City Gift Card concept from Miconex of Perth, Scotland.

Managing director Colin Munro said: “York BID has continued to innovate and improve its gift card, introducing new gift card designs to maintain its relevance, adding new businesses to enhance its proposition and keeping the card top of mind through its marketing.

“These factors combined make the York Gift Card the gift of choice in York and an initiative that will continue to grow in success.”