Wagamama launches world’s first ‘walk out and pay’ dining option

A new app that lets restaurant diners simply leave the table and have their bill paid automatically is being rolled out by Wagamama and Mastercard.

UK-based casual dining chain Wagamama has teamed up with card provider Mastercard to introduce the world’s first ‘walk out and pay’ service for its restaurants, allowing customers to simply leave the venue after finishing their meals and have their bill paid automatically.

It’s one of the latest efforts in the payment sector’s ongoing efforts to make transactions as quick and seamless as possible, and could be of particular interest to the hospitality sector, where settling the bill is often time-consuming.

According to Mastercard, it takes an average of 12 minutes to pay in a restaurant, with diners having to attract the attention of staff, wait for the bill to arrive, then wait again in order to actually pay. The longer this takes, the more frustrated customers will be, with those who have had a ‘bad bill experience’ being four times less likely to recommend a restaurant.

This is what Wagamama hopes to avoid with its new wagamamago app, which it has described as an “Uber for diners” and will allow consumers to walk into a venue order, eat and, for the first time ever, simply leave.

“We wanted to bring truly frictionless payment to restaurants as we know waiting for the bill is frustrating,” said Richard Tallboy, chief information officer at Wagamama. “Why shouldn’t you be able to get up and go when you are ready? Well, now you can. No more waving your hand in the air, trying to catch the waiter’s eye. Once you’re ready, you just go, and customers are automatically charged, with the receipt emailed directly. “

The app is available on iOS and Android and can be used at restaurants throughout the UK. It links to a Mastercard digital wallet, meaning payments can be taken directly via the app without the need for the diner to explicitly authorize the transaction by hitting a ‘pay’ button. It also allows customers to order items direct from their phone, split the bill and order takeaway.

Jennifer Macrae, vice-president of innovation at Mastercard, added: “We want to make payments easier than ever, whilst also keeping them secure. We can adapt this technology to any kind of restaurant and Wagamama is the first to use it in this way, allowing customers to order from phones and simply walk away.”

Written by Aamir Janjua

Aamir Janjua

Aamir is NCR's Global Business Transformation Leader in financial services domain, supporting customers across the globe to optimise and transform their business to achieve desired business outcomes. He has 20 years’ experience in business and IT change management, business consulting and transformation covering banking, financial services, manufacturing and government verticals. He provides thought leadership and proactively share ideas and learnings from various global engagements via white papers and blogs to support successful transformation of the financial services industry into the digital era.

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