Case Study

The Manhattan

Faye Hall | Customer Engagement Manager, FIS

September 03, 2020

Mobile terminal plays vital role in Manhattan Club’s post-lockdown reopening

25 years ago, Christian Mcintyre was working at a local car dealership in Harrogate dreaming about his evening at The Manhattan, the town’s premier snooker and pool club. Even so, the pool-crazy teenager never dreamed that one day he would actually own The Manhattan. But he does and, thanks to his passion and drive, the already popular venue is enjoying a surge in popularity.

The Manhattan Club boasts four full-size professional snooker tables, seven pool tables, five pro-standard darts lanes, and hosts regular tournaments. But it’s not all sports and games – there’s a strong social side too. There’s a function room which, when not in a pandemic, hosts line dancing evenings, Zumba classes and is always in demand for birthday parties, wedding receptions and the like.

Making his mark

Two years ago, Christian was invited by the owner, an old friend, to take over the running of the club. Having been recently laid off, Christian thought he might as well do it as a stop-gap. But he enjoyed the experience so much that he bought out the owner and the club is now 100 percent his.

The payment preferences of Manhattanites

The Manhattan clientele comprises adults of all ages. “The older generation prefer to pay cash but the younger people want to pay with their phones, so we have to be able to offer both options and everything in between,” he says. Christian wanted to partner with a payments provider that could provide different payment methods to suit his business, who were reliable and offered transparent pricing. His research led him to Worldpay from FIS.

“Worldpay were charming and a pleasure to deal with,” recalls Christian. “But more importantly they didn’t bamboozle me. They made it very easy to understand what I would be signing up for. Although other providers offered me seemingly cheaper deals, I knew from prior experience they were probably too good to be true. With Worldpay there were no hidden surprises.”

A terminal that follows the customer

The bar in the function room only needs a payments terminal when the room is actually in use, so the club only requires one other terminal which can be moved to wherever it’s needed. Worldpay proposed the Move/5000 terminal, which is completely portable with both phone network and WiFi connections to enable continuous connectivity.

The device has just about every electronic payment method covered from mobile phone wallets and contactless card payments to chip-and-pin, and even old school swipe-and-sign. As well as processing sales, it can handle gratuities, refunds and cashback.

Easing the lockdown

COVID-19 has meant challenging times for many businesses and – as it turned out – The Manhattan’s switch to Worldpay coincided with the club’s reopening in July 2020 when venues began opening their doors again. For Christian, it meant raising the shutters on a very different club.

“We introduced massive changes to accommodate social distancing and protect our staff and customers,” he says. “We created one-way systems and are taking everyone’s temperature at the door as a precaution. We took out half the pool tables and are limiting the number of people on each table to four which must be made up of no more than two households.”

Payments have also had to change. “We now provide table service so that people don’t cluster at the bar. Having a portable terminal we can take to the tables has turned out to be vital,” he says.

It was a lot of work but the opening week went well. “People were more than ready for a drink and a game of pool. Attitudes to the virus vary a lot but our customers have been very respectful of the restrictions we’ve put in place. And the feedback has been very positive. People tell us they are reassured by the measures, and that they feel protected.”

Amid the turmoil, however, one change proved both straightforward and positive – the move to Worldpay. “The terminal is incredibly easy to use and the staff took to it straight away,” says Christian. “It’s easy for the customers too. 95 percent of them are paying using contactless, which is a breeze. For those paying with chip-and-pin, the clarity of the color touchscreen makes entering numbers easy and intuitive. Everyone’s very happy.”

Christian is delighted. “It makes service faster and easier for our customers, which is an important element in enhancing the experience our customers have while they’re here and keep them coming back. I’m determined to grow the business and having Worldpay as a payment partner means I don’t have to worry any more about that side of things. I know we’re in safe hands.”