wagamama originally introduced a takeaway application for customers who wanted their food on the go. The success of this application soon led wagamama to investigate other ways of using apps and mobile technology in order to improve the customer dining experience.

To achieve this, wagamama asked customers for feedback on what could be improved. One of the most significant answers that customers gave was wanting to cut waiting time for the bill. It was calculated that on average, customers spent 12 minutes waiting to pay for a meal, and many felt that this was too long.

In addressing this issue the wagamama IT team chose to design and launch an application in association with mastercard which would allow customers to pay for food at their leisure. This would allow diners to arrive, order, eat and leave without having to wait for billing by wagamama staff.

Application design and build presented one challenge in solving the issue of waiting times associated with billing. To function seamlessly as part of an improved customer dining experience, the right IT infrastructure and support would need to be deployed. wagamama’s IT team engaged with Wanstor in helping to design and implement a Wi-Fi network infrastructure and a support model that would assist in the delivery and launch of their application.

To help wagamama successfully launch the new wagamamago app, Wanstor would work alongside wagamama’s IT team in identifying those areas within the existing IT infrastructure that required upgrading.

As wagamama’s IT support partner we already had a good understanding of the existing IT infrastructure. This enabled us to identify equipment and infrastructure which required updating to enable wagamama’s application to work seamlessly in each restaurant environment over Wi-Fi. By having this understanding of the wagamama IT estate we were able to develop a clear Wi-Fi infrastructure upgrade path and project plan."

Manmit Rai, Operations Director at Wanstor

Once the relevant IT infrastructure equipment had been identified, Wanstor’s project management team began developing a plan that would enable wagamama to launch its innovative wagamamago app for diners. To ensure wagamamago’s success within all of the client’s restaurants, Wanstor’s network infrastructure solution would need to be robust, secure and also able to handle high volumes of guest Wi-Fi traffic.

Based on wagamama’s existing restaurant estate of 112 restaurants, Wanstor were able to identify that these outlets should be split into three categories, dependent on the type of internet connection required - ADSL2+, FTTC and Fibre.

For each restaurant, Wanstor’s engineering teams undertook the following work:

  • Provision of relevant internet connectivity before visiting sites, including dates of when this connection would be available so that work would be able to commence
  • Management of all interaction with BT along with correct routing of MPLS
  • Procurement and configuration of Cisco Meraki routers, including testing to ensure service quality so that voice, video and application traffic could be handled adequately
  • Documenting new details of routers and all other IT equipment used in deployment of the Wi-Fi solution to relevant locations
  • Site visits to test different devices, applications and the overall user Wi-Fi experience in each restaurant, with provision to address any issues whilst on site
  • Configuration and testing of SSIDs for Purple Wi-Fi on Meraki hardware and Guest Wi-Fi on VLAN
  • Removal of old Wi-Fi networking equipment no longer required or which belonged to previous Wi-Fi supplier
  • Completion of project documentation along with the addition of all restaurant sites to Wanstor’s network monitoring watch list

With the Wi-Fi solution in place, wagamama’s IT team could begin testing their new app along with the overall Wi-Fi experience in all 112 restaurants. Once satisified that the app was performing over the Wi-Fi network and that customer payments could be made, Wanstor’s project team were given signoff on the project and switched focus to launching the new wagamamago app to customers.

The new wagamamago app, supported by a core IT Wi-Fi infrastructure designed and implemented by Wanstor, allows wagamama’s 112 restaurants to benefit from:

  • Improved reliability, security, and resiliency of the wireless network based on a robust architectural design
  • Secure mobile access to the wagamamago app with a Wi-Fi design that delivers high operational performance, the correct bandwidth for different traffic types and low latency for application delivery
  • Secure access points supporting high volume application usage in each restaurant once deployed
  • Reduced Wi-Fi operating costs through improved IT efficiency with simplified wireless network operations and in-life management
  • Enhanced wireless network performance with operational insight, evaluation, and plans for improvement provided by Wanstor’s engineering teams
  • Access to real time analytics, giving wagamama restaurant and IT teams sight of customers within each restaurant and information on individual methods of payment
  • The ability to push real time information and offers to diners whilst they eat by way of the Purple Wi-Fi platform, providing greater opportunity to upsell and encourage repeat visits whilst customers are on-site
Customers want to be in control of how they pay for the restaurant services they receive. We are now entering an age where heightened expectations relating to the mobile revolution and growing prevalence of smartphones in modern culture mean customers want mobile functionality which will enable them to access mobile ordering, mobile payments and redeem rewards on smartphones. By using apps supported by the right IT infrastructure solutions, restaurants like wagamama are able to market more effectively to customers and take payments in a more efficient way."

Peter Lukes, Managing Director at Wanstor

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