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Wed 21st Mar 2018 - Wagamama launches world’s first walk-away payment app
Wagamama launches world’s first walk-away payment app: Wagamama has launched a walk-away payment app that will save diners “12 minutes every meal”. Created in partnership with Mastercard, the world first is described as “Uber for diners”. Participants have their details stored securely, with payment taken automatically from the app without the need for a pay button, leaving diners free to get up and leave at the end of their meal without waiting for the bill. When using the app in a restaurant, customers can access added benefits such as super-sizing a fresh juice for the price of a regular drink at a saving of £1; splitting the bill by choosing which items they want to pay for; and order sides, drinks, extras and desserts direct from the kitchen. App users can also order takeaway meals to collect from any Wagamama restaurant. Wagamama customer director Emma Woods said: “We wanted to bring truly frictionless payment to restaurants as we know waiting for the bill is frustrating. Once you’re ready you just go and customers are automatically charged, with the receipt emailed directly. Customers are accustomed to one-click payments for online retailers and walk-out payments from Uber, but there hasn’t been an app offering all these functions for restaurants.” Jennifer Macrae, vice-president of product innovation at Mastercard, added: “We are bringing our digital ordering and payment technology – Qkr – into an app that is tailor-made for Wagamama’s customers. Wagamama is the first to use it in this way, allowing customers to order from phones and simply walk away.” Earlier this month, Wagamama reported 8.2% UK like-for-like sales growth in its third quarter for the 12 weeks ending 28 January 2018, increasing from 7.1% in the second quarter. Group turnover increased 12.5% to £72.1m in the period.

PubLove opens first refurbished site under Ei Group managed joint venture: PubLove, the London-based pub company that houses backpacker hostels and serves its own "Burger Craft" food in each venue, has opened The Crown, Battersea, following a £400,000 investment. The Crown is the first fully refurbished site to open since PubLove became the seventh Ei Managed Investments partner, when Ei Group secured a majority stake in the company last year. The refurbishment includes the introduction of a new craft rum and gin wall. The upstairs has also undergone a full upgrade to its existing hostel rooms. The pub also features a large outdoor seating area with heated terrace. The drinks offer features a range of craft beer and cask ale with a prominent focus on sourcing local beers from across London. The rum and gin wall features a range of craft rum and more than 20 local and imported gins. The food offer follows the same "Burger Craft Kitchen" model, with an extensive menu of bespoke burgers served alongside a selection of sides. PubLove founder and chief executive Ben Stackhouse said: “It's an opportunity for us to show Ei Managed Investments our vision for PubLove and for it to show us how it can be delivered. I've been very impressed with its overall approach to date and am certain the new look Crown will set the standard for our sites moving forward.” Nathan Wall, operations director for Ei Managed Investments, added: “It's an exciting offer – a quality pub with backpacker accommodation, in a popular area of London, which I have no doubt will succeed.” There are currently nine Ei Managed Investments partnerships in operation.

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