Holiday Plastic is Hot

Prepare for the post-holiday rush. One-third of all gift cards are for restaurants.

For most retailers, the days after Christmas are awash with returned gifts. But many quick-service operators are seeing a flood of gift cards.

Consumer spending for prepaid cards at limited-service restaurants soared this year, and the growth was even stronger during the holiday season, according to statistics from First Data Corp., a global payment-processing company.