Award-winning Holiday Giving Initiative Lifts Spirits and Enables People Nationwide to Give Gift Certificates at No Cost
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (RestaurantNews.com) The holiday season is a looming reminder of the toll the economic downturn has taken on the population. In an effort to continue to free consumers from the financial stress of holiday gifting, Restaurant.com today announced the return of “Feed It Forward,” the holiday giving initiative that celebrates the gift of giving and enables participants to give away free, $10 Restaurant.com Gift Certificates. Now until December 31st, individuals are able to give up to $16,000 in Restaurant.com Gift Certificates, from a total pool of $40 million, to family, friends and anyone on their holiday wish list located anywhere in the country—for free.
“We cannot forget that about the many people who are still trying to get back on their feet after one the greatest financial crises of recent time,” said Cary Chessick, president and CEO of Restaurant.com. “Feed It Forward allows anyone, from those who carry large financial burdens to those who have simply taken the recession as a spending reality check, to experience and embrace the gift of giving.”
In its third year, the Feed It Forward initiative is built upon a single giving website, www.Restaurant.com/FeedItForward, stocked with a total of four million, $10 Restaurant.com gift certificates totaling $40 million. The site will be live through midnight PST on Dec. 31 and allows individuals to go online to give gift certificates on a first come, first serve basis. Gift givers choose whom to give to and gift recipients then decide where to dine among more than 9,500 participating Restaurant.com restaurants nationwide.
To send free $10 Restaurant.com Gift Certificates, gift givers visit the giving site and simply log into Facebook and/or, Gmail or Yahoo email account to select the people they wish to give to—as many as 40 people each day for the length of the initiative. Participants can also opt to type in email addresses manually. Gift certificates are then sent to the selected recipients via email along with a personal note from the giver. Recipients simply redeem the gift certificate through the Feed It Forward site, which directs individuals to a location search where they can find participating restaurants in their area. Once a specific restaurant gift certificate is selected, the recipient can print it immediately for use, bring it into the restaurant, and apply it towards the meal.
In an effort to rally individuals around the celebration of giving and offer giving inspiration, the Feed It Forward site also features messages and stories from current participants as to why they chose to give. As people participate in the initiative, a U.S. map displayed on the site will depict the areas of the country where the giving is happening and keeping track of the amount given in real time. In addition, Feed It Forward 2010 has been enhanced to make the celebration of giving even easier and more exciting to participate in. New features include:
- The Salvation Army’s Metropolitan Division Support – As a Chicago based company, Restaurant.com has proudly partnered with The Salvation Army’s Metropolitan Division, which specifically serves Chicago and surrounding areas. Together, The Salvation Army and Restaurant.com will give Feed It Forward participants the opportunity to donate to various communities throughout Chicagoland as another way to promote the celebration of giving to those in great need.
- Increased Giving, Extended Time – This year, Restaurant.com has stocked its giving site with $40 million in $10 gift certificates. Givers can give to up to 40 people per day over 40 days, which brings the potential giving value up to $16,000 worth of Restaurant.com Gift Certificates that a participant can give through the duration of the program.
- Enhanced Facebook Integration – Feed It Forward participants that have Facebook accounts will automatically be able to send gift certificates to friends within their network by logging into their Facebook account. Gifts sent through Facebook, will result in gift recipients receiving a personalized message on their wall alerting them of the gift they just received. In addition, through the integration, participants can view who in their network is giving through the program.
- See How Far Your Giving Spreads – New for 2010, participants can see the impact of each individual gift that they give. Givers can view a “giving circle” which will track the certificates given and how they have spread. This new tool shows how even just a single gift can make a tremendous impact and be a starting point to touch thousands of lives.
- Community Gives – Restaurant.com is enabling participants to give to the Restaurant.com “community,” which includes registered Restaurant.com customers, if participants have additional gift certificates they would like share. By incorporating the “community” give function, participants can spread the gift of giving further and touch the lives of those they may not even know.
“It’s time to celebrate one another, celebrate the good things in life and celebrate the gift of giving,” said Chessick. “It is absolutely free to give and free to receive through Feed It Forward, so for a third year, Restaurant.com and I proudly ask that you give to families, give to friends, give to neighbors, give to grandparents, give to co-workers, but most of all, give.”
Individuals nationwide have equal opportunity to give the free gift certificates away while the quantity lasts. Individuals can visit www.Restaurant.com/FeedItForward to participate and learn more about the “Feed It Forward” initiative. Also, visit http://press.restaurant.com for a fact sheet, Q&A images and more.
Restaurant.com is the trusted and valued source connecting restaurants and diners nationwide. The company offers savings at more than 15,000 restaurants nationwide with more than 35,000 daily gift certificate options. Restaurant.com brings people together to relax, converse and enjoy well-prepared and -served meals at affordable prices. To date, Restaurant.com customers have saved more than $500 million through the gift certificate program. Restaurant.com has operated since 1999 and is based in Arlington Heights, Ill.