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Texas Restaurant Association encourages the public to buy “fries not ties,” “tacos not towels” and more this giving season

Consumer data from the National Restaurant Association confirms 62% of adults would like to receive a restaurant gift card


AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Restaurant Association is encouraging the public to buy “pies not ties,” “waffles not wallets” and “steaks not scarves” as an effort to drive consumers to purchase gift cards and other dining experiences from local restaurants ahead of the giving season. According to data from the National Restaurant Association, 62% of adults would like to receive a restaurant gift card. In addition, there are a number of restaurants offering merchandise, cookbooks, and even proteins so you can recreate your favorite restaurant experience at home.      

“A gift card to a local restaurant is a great way to give an unforgettable experience to a loved one this holiday season.” Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D, president and CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association, said. “The TRA’s Gift Experiences, not things campaign is a fun reminder that local restaurants are ready to help this holiday season, with gifts that every family member, friend, teacher, and co-worker will love.”

Consumers can also support their local restaurants by purchasing to-go meals, baked goods and other treats. A survey from HungerRush reported that 64% of U.S. consumers plan to order at least one food item from a restaurant to include in their holiday meals this year. In a different survey, 37% said they would order their entire holiday meal from a restaurant.

“The holidays are a time when we prioritize being together and enjoying delicious food.” Tony Abruscato, chief marketing officer of the Texas Restaurant Association, said. “When you purchase a meal from a restaurant, you eliminate the stress, time and cleanup of cooking all while supporting a local business. The holidays are not the time to learn how to deep-fry a turkey. Lean on a restaurant nearby to do it for you.” 

The Texas Restaurant Association encourages Texans to take advantage of pre-cooked meals and dinners-to-go promotions; and gift cards that oftentimes offer a gift card for the purchaser to enjoy.


 Graphics for restaurants to share are also available at


The Texas Restaurant Association

Formed in 1937, the Texas Restaurant Association serves as the advocate and indispensable resource for the foodservice industry in Texas. As a leading business association, the TRA represents the state’s $95 billion restaurant industry, which encompasses upwards of 55,000 locations and a workforce of over 1.4 million employees. Along with the Texas Restaurant Foundation, the workforce development arm of the TRA, the association proudly continues to protect, advance, and educate a growing industry as the TRA enters its 86th year. For more information, please visit  

Media Contact:

ECPR Texas

Nico Ramsey 512-516-0302