Grounded Manchester —

How Tap to Pay on iPhone Helped Grounded Manchester Increase Sales by 23%

How Tap to Pay on iPhone Helped Grounded Manchester Increase Sales by 23%
Seamless technology, strong community ties, and unwavering purpose have helped propel this UK business to new heights.
by Maya Rollings Jul 09, 2024 — 3 min read
How Tap to Pay on iPhone Helped Grounded Manchester Increase Sales by 23%

In the summer of 2021, Natalie Lobel set out to make a difference. She wanted to help vulnerable adults who struggled with their mental health or those who had trouble working a typical nine-to-five job. Ultimately, she married this interest with her business of choice: coffee. “I really wanted to have a business that wasn’t smashing out loads of fast food or doing something everyone else was doing. I wanted to be able to pass on skills to people [and give them] a skill set,” she explained.

Lobel always had a deep appreciation for the history of coffee and the variety that came with specialty coffee. The ability to explore this and help others on her own terms led to the birth of Grounded Manchester. As its name suggests, Grounded Manchester operates around the streets and parks of Manchester (and also at events and festivals nationwide) in a bright yellow trike, hoping to be a grounding presence for those in need of a brew — and maybe even a chat.

Using Tap to Pay on iPhone to foster efficiency and growth at large events

Grounded Manchester has been using Square tools from the beginning and credits its versatility with helping the business grow. “It feels like Square sort of offers a solution for every problem really, which is really good,” Natalie explained.

The Tap to Pay on iPhone solution has been especially beneficial for this business, especially for events, markets, and festivals. Manchester’s Christmas Market is one of their busiest events of the year, and after adopting Tap to Pay on iPhone to accept payments, Lobel said Grounded Manchester’s sales grew 23% year-over-year for this event alone. 

Every Grounded Manchester employee has the ability to use Tap to Pay on iPhone to accept payments for the business, which helps them move with speed and cut down on the line without sacrificing quality. “I think it’s saved us about 30 seconds per customer,” she estimated. 

Building relationships with customers through seamless payments

Even when Grounded Manchester isn’t serving customers at a bustling festival but instead in a calm park in Manchester, Tap to Pay on iPhone still has a valuable impact on customers and the overall experience. “It’s not just the actual technology; it’s the fact that people are just talking to you, and instead of looking around trying to find the square to tap the phone on, they literally just thrust the phone at your phone and tap. And that movement is quicker,” Natalie explained. This one swift motion creates more opportunity for a seamless transaction and the ability to foster connections that can help bring customers back to a business. 

In fact, the setup of Grounded Manchester at the park makes it easy for a quick payment to turn into a deeper customer relationship. “I’ll stand up, and serve coffees, and take payments, and do what I need to do, but I’ll also sit with people because we have a very friendly community who all want to sit around and chat with each other,” Natalie shared.

Tap to Pay on iPhone makes it easy for this business to nurture this communal relationship because there are fewer actions needed by customers and staff alike, leaving more time to focus on the totality of the customer experience. 

Expanding the business with community in mind

Grounded Manchester’s unique focus on the customer, community, and coffee has ultimately created room for expansion, and they’re preparing to open a container cafe, ideally this summer. “The plan is to be bigger and better and focus on training as many vulnerable adults as possible, and keeping ourselves really front and center of the community,” Lobel said. And while bigger and better is a part of the business’s growth plan, it’s still incredibly important for the “grounded” element of Grounded Manchester to stay in tact. 

According to Lobel, the keys to staying grounded as a business are “creating a community, creating conversation, and just having time for people,” she said. Because once she accounts for those three elements with customers, she notices they walk away happy. “They walk away, and they’ve had a nice brew, and they’ve had a good chat. It’s like, well, that’s really good, isn’t it? I mean, what more do you want out of life? A brew and a chat.”

Maya Rollings
Maya Rollings is an editor at Square where she writes about all things customer experience, from building a solid customer base to leveraging tools and technology that meets them where they are in their journey.

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