The Pizza Express is an in-restaurant mobile payment system that makes waiting to pay the bill a thing of the past. The key technology is the linking of the app with the Torex till system in real time. It’s fully integrated with PayPal, enabling customers to pay and leave when they want to. Gondola Group has also rolled out a customer Wi-Fi solution to ensure customers have an internet connection at all times.
Background to Campaign
Before embarking on the project, Pizza Express asked customers what could be done to make a tangible difference to their dining experience. One of the key needs, particularly for diners with limited time and families eating out with restless kids, was to reduce the time it takes to pay the bill.
The above graph indicates that taking the stress out of waiting to pay the bill and allowing customers to pay and leave when they want to was a real issue. The big innovation of the PizzaExpress app is the solution to this need: the option to pay your bill automatically via your smartphone.
90% of apps are deleted after 30 days, which Apple refers to as ‘greet and delete’. However, 80% of the initial downloaders updated the Pizza Express app a couple of days after launch when a slightly updated version was issued.
The project kicked off in February 2011 with the aim to go live in June. There was a challenge to deliver to this timescale, particularly as to support the app a customer Wi-Fi solution was needed in almost 400 sites.
The first challenge was to find a well known, trusted company to enable secure online payments. The obvious choice was PayPal. PayPal were excited about the possibilities and wanted this functionality to be a market first.
The next challenge was to find the right mobile IT developer who had the technical know-how to develop payment functionality. 2ergo demonstrated excellent technical skills and had a track record of developing outstanding apps.
Gondola Group also wanted to ensure that customers had an internet connection at all times and worked with The Cloud, who offered the Broadband 2plus solution that gives up to 24m/bytes speed.
So how does it work? Once you have placed your order, you can ask for your bill whenever you want. Simply click on our app, select ‘Pay Your Bill’ and enter the 12 digit code which will be clearly marked on the bottom of your bill. Check the amount on the app matches your bill and add a tip if you wish. You also have the option to redeem a valid offer code or voucher and your total bill will be automatically amended. Log in to your Pay Pal account or enter your credit or debit card details and press ‘Pay Now’. Once payment is received, the app will send you and our tills a confirmation that will let us both know you have paid. You will also receive an email confirming your payment and you can view your full receipt in the ‘My Receipts’ section of the app.
As a business, Pizza Express took £10,000 in payments in the first week through the app. This grew to £100,000 in the first month. The company had set itself a target of 10,000 bookings through the app in the first month and exceeded this with more than 15,000 bookings.
The buzz surrounding the launch demonstrated how ground-breaking the app is.
When a journalist from a national newspaper paid an anonymous visit to PizzaExpress to roadtest the app, he asked a team member whether she welcomed the innovation. She described the app as ‘fantastic, especially at peak times, as it frees up waiting staff and speeds up the process for customers at the end of the meal.’