In August, City Winery became an early Mobile Pay customer. An untraditional Manhattan venue, it makes wine on the premises—and offers classes so customers can join in—has a restaurant and tasting bar and also a 300-plus-seat concert space. With Mobile Pay, customers can unobtrusively order another glass of wine mid-show, or settle a bill without having to wait for a server.
City Winery also sells bottles of wine, wine glasses and a number of other items that the Mobile Pay solution can help with. "If it's not nailed down," joked General Manager David Richter, "we'll sell it to you."
Stainless steel wine-making tanks and French oak barrels are within view of diners but are far more than just decor. Customers can create a profile using Mobile Pay that enables them to designate "favorite" items and store preferences. A changing selection of 11 wines is always on-tap.
Mobile Pay can be used on the browser of any device, and NCR will soon offer mobile apps for Apple iOS and Android devices. NCR's Finley, left, and City Winery's Richter, right, worked together to customize the solution to City Winery's needs. Richter says that about half a dozen customers a night are trying the solution, and City Winery has tried different ways of getting the word out—including offering a complimentary dessert to anyone who tries it.
Customers can go directly to NCRPAY.com and input a code on the bottom of their receipt, or scan a QR code that will pull up the bill. While it's possible to just hand the customer a card with the QR code on it, Finley said customers are more comfortable when they see it as part of a traditional-looking bill.
The Mobile Pay site—for customers who don't scan the QR code—prompts customers to input the three-letter, three-number code at the bottom of their receipts.
Once in the solution, customers can look over a bill, place an order, page a server, email themselves the receipt and more.
City Winery General Manager David Richter says he's noticed that customers who use Mobile Pay tend to leave generous tips.
City Winery's Richter also appreciates the ability to engage with customers. If someone has a not-great experience, he can address it directly, potentially creating a stronger relationship where one might have been damaged. Before, he says, when someone didn't like something, "You had to wait and hear about it on Yelp."
City Winery recently opened a space in Chicago. Of the New York City crowd, Richter said that for an 8 p.m. show, people will typically show up at 7:45 and "they want to sit down and have a drink, fast." From getting drinks in their hands to quickly settling bills at the end of an evening, "Mobile Pay is a way of the restaurant respecting their time."