wagamama creates ‘walk out’ app with Mastercard


Available for free on iOS and Android, wagamamago allows customers to order more items from their phone, split the bill and order takeaway, for those on the move

Pan-Asian restaurant wagamama has launched wagamamago, an app that it describes as ‘Uber for diners’ allowing customers to walk in, order, eat and for the first time ever, simply go. The new app will save diners an average of 12 minutes at every meal, according to research.

It has been created in partnership with Mastercard, which has a long history with wagamama, and integrates with the restaurant chain’s existing Oracle Hospitality restaurant management platform.  It was the first restaurant to use Mastercard Labs’ Qkr! pay-at-table platform in 2015. Since then a variety of leading UK chains have followed suit.

While wagamama will still use Qkr, it also wanted to create a dedicated own-brand option for frequent customers. It has used the Qkr APIs which Mastercard is opening up to help power new ways to order and pay throughout the hospitality industry.

Through the Qkr APIs, Mastercard allows its hospitality businesses to easily integrate ordering and payment services into their digital solutions, linking the point of sale terminal and payments to deliver a first-class experience for their customers. By connecting to a Masterpass digital wallet, payment can be taken automatically from the app without the need to hit a pay button; the first time any restaurant chain in the world has ever offered a “walk out” payment option in this way.

The new app is available across the entire estate of wagamama restaurants nationwide. The Mastercard checkout process, which uses the Masterpass digital wallet, is supported by the highest levels of security and cryptology.

Available for free on iOS and Android, wagamamago also allows customers to order more items from their phone, split the bill and order takeaway, for those on the move. The purpose of the app is to allow a faster and more seamless dining experience for customers.

Research shows that it takes an average of 12 minutes between asking for the bill to leaving the restaurant, and customers are four times less likely to recommend a restaurant if they have had a bad ‘bill experience’.

Jennifer Macrae, VP of innovation at Mastercard, said: “We want to make payments easier than ever, whilst also keeping them secure. We are bringing our digital ordering and payment technology – Qkr – into an app tailormade for wagamama’s loyal customers. 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.”

wagamama CIO, Richard Tallboy, said: “We wanted to bring truly frictionless payment to restaurants as we know waiting for the bill is frustrating, 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. Getting the bill is the last thing a customer experiences and it was important that this be quick and stress free for our customers. We’ve been able to implement this while retaining the best elements of their interaction of the waiter.”

Laura Calin, VP of strategy, Oracle Hospitality, said: “wagamama truly understands how technology can enhance the dining experience and has a proven track record of successfully rolling out innovative solutions that benefit customers, servers and kitchen staff.  The Oracle Hospitality platform enables wagamama to innovate in a way that benefits customers and employees in all areas from front-of-house through to the kitchen.  The get-up-and-go functionality in wagamamago doesn’t just mean diners are free to leave when they’re ready, its full integration with the Oracle Hospitality paltform also means that managers can be confident that checks are closed-off automatically and that they have an accurate real time view of the restaurant.”

Last year saw wagamama’s most successful financial year since opening its doors in 1992. The pan-Asian restaurant brand has also seen huge success with the launch of its test and innovation kitchen, noodle lab, based in the heart of Soho. noodle lab allows customers to try new items in development, before they launch on the menu.

Qkr is also used in North and South America, Australia, Ireland, Singapore, and South Africa, and has a variety of functions, including: paying for school lunches, uniforms or excursions; running bar tabs in bars and clubs with no need for bartenders to keep the customer’s card; ordering ahead at food stands in sports arena to minimise queues; paying at vending machines, for parking or other self-service checkouts.


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