Chili’s Grill & Bar is heating things up in the gift-card department, rolling out a new option that lets consumers show their own style with customizable gift cards.
As part of the chain’s third annual Create a Pepper To Fight Childhood Cancer campaign, Chili’s is selling limited-edition gift cards consumers can customize with permanent markers or crayons. Customers can personalize the cards with flair, mini artwork or messages of hope. Gift cards can be loaded with amounts ranging from $5 to $100.
The new Create a Pepper gift card offering is part of a Chili’s ongoing effort to raise money to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This year, the chain is trying to raise $3 million. The company has a multi-year commitment with the hospital to raise $50 million toward cancer research; so far, Chili’s has raised more than $5.5 million toward the cause. Survivor host Jeff Probst is the campaign spokesperson for the third year.
“The new gift card is a way to engage customers in the promotion,” Chili’s Marketing Manager Kristine Russell said. “It’s all about customizing and creating your own card.”
As a special incentive, Chili’s will donate $1 to St. Jude for every $25 purchased in Create a Pepper gift cards. The effort marks the first time Chili’s has rolled out customizable gift cards, Russell said. For the campaign, Chili’s made 150,000 special edition gift cards. Roughly 75 to 100 gift cards are being distributed across 1,200 Chili’s restaurants nationwide, Russell said.
Dallas-based Chili’s, a Brinker International brand, started offering gift cards in 2001. The chain tested the concept of a customizable gift card with consumers and soon discovered “it was a popular idea,” Russell said.
Beyond gift cards, customers can personalize Create A Pepper T-shirts for $12 and a color pin of the Chili’s signature pepper by donating $1 or more through September (National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month). T-shirts are also available online at CreateAPepper.com, where customers can also decorate a Chili’s pepper online.
Table tents and online materials support. Gift cards will be available through September or until supplies last. Chili’s handles in-house.