Father's day proves a gift for hospitality industry with bookings up by 27% on last year

Bookings for Father’s Day up more than a quarter this year, while a record number of dads received hospitality gift cards

The latest research from Zonal and the hospitality commerce platform Toggle, shows bookings for Father’s Day 2023 rose by 27% compared to last year, while a record number of dads will have been given gift cards for meals and drinks as sales of hospitality gift cards increased by 88%.

Compared to pre-Covid, reservations for Father’s Day in pubs, bars and restaurants were up 16%, with the most popular time to book being three days in advance, which accounted for nearly half (54%) of reservations. Many left it until the last minute, however, with 23% booking on the day.

In further good news for operators, cancellation rates were low, with four in five honouring their booking. The most frequent reasons for cancelling were given as Covid or chickenpox.

At the same time, Toggle fulfilled sales of nearly £700,000 worth of gift cards in the run up to Father’s Day alone this year – an increase of 88% on 2022. In fact, the firm’s digital gift card sales have grown by a staggering 1,900% since Father’s Day in 2019, when total sales were £30,000 – showing how gift cards can generate additional revenue for operators.

The sales bring Father’s Day into the top three annual occasions when it comes to gifting, joining Mother’s Day and Christmas.

Olivia FitzGerald, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Zonal said: “These booking numbers are great news for hospitality operators and show that consumers remain willing to go out and treat themselves and loved ones on big occasions, despite the cost-of-living crisis. Operators can make the most of the Father’s Day opportunity next year by promoting booking in advance, creating special Father’s Day offers and cashing in on a growing gifting opportunity for the industry. Not only does this drive incremental bookings and spend but helps operators to secure advance revenue and positively impact their cash flow.”

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