A new Pub and Bar gift card available in Woolworths will help Australian venues tap into a new revenue channel, at a time when revenue is more crucial than ever.

The Pub & Bar Card has been launched by TCN – The Card Network, in association with the AHA, and Woolworths as a major distribution partner.

Using TCN technology, the gift card can be used exclusively in all pubs and bars across Australia. Venues do not have to pay anything or set anything up to be able to use the card – it simply works in the same way as an eftpos card, or can be used via digital wallet for a contactless tap-and-go experience.

While the card has been in the works for some time, COVID-19 provided the impetus to get the card launched to support the industry as soon as possible.

“We’ve always believed there was a good opportunity to create an industry-style gift card, and when COVID-19 came along, we thought it was good way to show our support,” stated TCN co-founder Richard Hewitt.

The gift card market via grocery channel is valued at $1.2 billion in Australia. The entertainment sector (restaurants, cinemas, etc.), accounts for roughly $80 million of that – with none of that spend targeted at pubs and bars until now.

The card will not compete with a pub or pub groups’ own gift cards, but will rather drive incremental sales via a new channel – particularly for smaller venues. Now instead of purchasing a retail gift card, the public can choose to gift dollar amounts to the recipient for their local pub or bar.

“We want to make sure that all of the smaller businesses get it – because they miss out on these types of promotions so often. Even if its only one person coming in and spending $50 – that’s still money that could have been spent literally anywhere else. So we’re able to provide that blanketed coverage to all pubs and bars in the country.”

AHA NSW CEO John Whelan is pleased that the Pub & Bar Card creates an additional revenue channel for pubs that are struggling at the moment.

“This is a great initiative for people to show their support for their local. Hotels have been in the front line in the battle against COVID-19 and we are proud of the role we have played, but it has come at a huge economic cost.

“This gift card is just another way people can help struggling hotels get back on their feet – particularly in the bush.”

The Pub & Bar Card is currently available in 1100 Woolworths stores – meaning it is seen by more than 10 million people per week.

Vanessa Cavasinni

Vanessa Cavasinni is the managing editor of Australian Hotelier and Club Management, trade publications for the pub and club sectors respectively. Vanessa has been at the helm of Australian Hotelier since...

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