The winter holidays are typically the season for gift card sales, but restaurant chains are seeing a fresh opportunity in spring graduation season. Chipotle Mexican Grill, IHOP, Applebee’s, Outback Steakhouse and others have launched promotions to attract graduation gift givers with the goal of driving some of the season’s celebrants into their doors. Gift cards are becoming big business for many chains. At Applebee’s, for example, the system achieved $300 million in gift ...

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