By Christine Blank, SeafoodSource contributing editor
Published on 17 December, 2011
U.S. seafood restaurants are pushing gift cards again this holiday season, boosting dining at their eateries both during the season and for months to come.
Legal Sea Foods is offering consumers who purchase USD 200 or more in gift cards from the chain this holiday season a complimentary lobster dinner.
Bonefish Grill is also taking a unique approach this year, offering guests who buy USD 100 worth of gift cards, a free USD 20 bonus card and entry into its “12 Days of Happiness Sweepstakes.”
Seafood restaurants are on the right track, according to a survey from the National Restaurant Association, 59 percent of Americans polled recently said they would like to receive a restaurant gift card for the holidays this year. In addition, the survey found that 26 percent plan to give a restaurant gift card this year.
While it is also running gift card promotions, Seattle-based Ivar’s is getting creative with its holiday marketing efforts, including offering photos with “Santa Clam” and the annual “Clam Lights Holiday Festival.” It is also holding a New Year’s Eve party and a New Year’s day brunch buffet.
Meanwhile, grocery stores are discounting seafood significantly the week before Christmas. Ralphs, a division of The Kroger Co., is running red king crab legs or Alaskan snow crab clusters for USD 9.99 a pound and frozen lobster tails for USD 7.99 each. Its other seafood specials from14 to 25 December, including Atlantic salmon fillets for USD 7.99 a pound with card and 25 percent off Kroger or Private Selection shrimp rings.
Winn-Dixie is also promoting large snow crab clusters for USD 7.99 a pound, along with U.S. large head-on white shrimp for USD 5.99 a pound, and buy one get one free Fisherman’s Wharf cod, whiting, perch, flounder or tilapia.
Whole Foods Market is marketing seafood on the front page of its web site with a “Joy to the Fishes” campaign. The natural foods retailer provides several recipes for seafood appetizers, soups, salads and entrees.