BCRFA partners with PayWith to launch world's first mobile reward program for restaurant and foodservice industry

Innovative "Industry Card" app offers rewards and discounts to over 100,000 hospitality workers in Metro Vancouver

VANCOUVER, Sept. 30, 2014 /CNW/ - PayWith Inc., a Vancouver-based mobile payments, rewards, and marketing company, has partnered with the British Columbia Restaurant and Food Services Association (BCRFA) to launch the "BCRFA Industry Card" app – the world's first mobile perks and rewards program for the restaurant and foodservice industry.

At a BCRFA event held last night in Vancouver, Ian Tostenson, President and CEO of the BCRFA, announced the launch of the "Industry Card" app and program (www.industrycard.ca), which will be live in Metro Vancouver this November. The innovative smartphone app will provide VIP perks and discounts to workers in the industry.

In Metro Vancouver, the restaurant and foodservices industry employs over 100,000 people in about 6,000 businesses.

Commissioned by the BCRFA and developed and operated by PayWith, the app will allow servers, hostesses, chefs, cooks, kitchen workers, bartenders and managers to enjoy exclusive perks and discounts at popular bars, nightclubs, restaurants and entertainment venues.  High-profile retailers will be added to the program as enrolment grows. 

"The aim of the BCRFA Industry Card is to use mobile payments and rewards technology on an "intra-industry" basis to build sales and help make working in the restaurant and food service sector more appealing," says Tostenson. "At the same time, we are exposing our workers to the rapidly growing mobile payments and rewards space which is becoming an important aspect of restaurant marketing."

To participate in the rewards program any BCRFA member restaurant simply registers their organization online and then enrols their employees by name and cell phone number (http://www.industrycard.ca/about/). Industry Card holders are cross-checked against restaurant employment files to verify their status.  Restaurants that do not belong to the BCFRA can also arrange to participate in the program.

"Given the overall cost of business in the sector, there are limited benefits which a restaurant operator can offer to staff," says Tostenson.  "This program is completely free for the operator and yet provides incentives to employees, who will save anywhere from 10 to 50 per cent on their purchases at participating merchants, in addition to instant perks such as skipping line-ups at clubs and bars."

Daniel Frankel, president of Daniel Group and Tap & Barrel Restaurants Ltd., is one of the City's first major restaurateurs to embrace the program. "The Industry Card is a welcome, progressive initiative that's going to help restaurants like Tap & Barrel present added rewards to employees in a way previously not possible.  It also exposes our brand to workers across the industry, which is great for building our business."

Besides the Tap and Barrel, other restaurants endorsing the BCRFA's mobile reward program include the Old Spaghetti Factory chain, Hub Restaurants, Bar 1181, and Fresh Bowl. 

In addition to enrolling employees, participating restaurants can also place their own discount offers or instant VIP rewards into the app, which will then be presented exclusively to all Industry Card members. Retailers outside of the food and hospitality industry can also offer instant VIP perks and discounts to Industry Card holders.

"We were impressed by PayWith's platform," says Tostenson. "They have a North American licensing agreement with MasterCard, and around that they have built an innovative platform that is going to change the way our members market themselves. Restaurants and foodservices in BC should grasp the future and take advantage of this home-grown innovation to grow their businesses."

"Employees in our industry index a 40 to 50 per cent higher average share of disposable income on items such as health and wellness, personal grooming, cosmetics, casual dinning, alcohol, fashion-forward apparel and entertainment," says Tostenson.  "The BCRFA would love to see retailers in these categories join the program and this will be a focus of ours prior to going live in November."

David Strebinger, CEO of PayWith, adds that according to Hospitality Technology's "2014 Customer Engagement Technology Study" over half of restaurants in North America will offer some form of mobile payment and rewards program by 2015. 

"The BCRFA is making a smart move by introducing the Industry Card program to employees in the sector," says Strebinger.  "Card holders get the direct benefits of the discounts and perks plus they become familiar with where mobile payments and loyalty rewards programs are headed. This will be a huge benefit to the restaurant and foodservice industry in BC."

About BCRFA

With over 40 years of leadership, the BCRFA is the foremost advocate and resource for the restaurant and foodservices industry, ensuring long-term dynamic growth within BC. The association is a representative body of restaurateurs, foodservice retailers, suppliers and educators. It works to enhance the image and integrity of the industry through positive communications, education and promotion of operating standards that encourage excellence.

About PayWith Inc.

PayWith Inc. is a Canadian-based mobile payment, rewards and marketing company set on changing the way merchants and consumers connect, communicate and transact. Our mission is to make Canada the world leader in mobile payment adoption by developing and providing merchants with innovative technology that is secure and easy to use. PayWith's mobile payment solutions uniquely merge ecommerce and customer loyalty and rewards programs with marketing analytics to help merchants grow their businesses. Our leadership team consists of entrepreneurs, software developers, and trailblazers from the worlds of marketing, technology, commerce, sports and hospitality.

The PayWith App is a powerful, easy-to-use tool that securely enables in-store transactions with any smart phone, allowing merchants to decrease their costs of interchange and increase their ability to track and reward customers. The PayWith App was named the "Best Mobile Payments and Rewards Program" in Canada at the 2014 PX Prepaid & Payments Awards.

Image with caption: "Putting Vancouver restaurants on the the cutting-edge, the BCRFA in partnership with PayWith is launching the "Industry Card” app and the world’s 1st mobile rewards program for the hospitality industry. (CNW Group/PayWith Worldwide Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140930_C1781_PHOTO_EN_6119.jpg

SOURCE: PayWith Worldwide Inc.

For further information: Please contact Robert MacLean, Public Affairs, PayWith Worldwide, (416) 992-7817, robert.maclean@me.com

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