New App GoPago Lets Dallas Diners Skip The Takeout Line.
At ten till 9 p.m. on August 7, 2007, the nation's eyes were focused on Barry Bonds.
Just three days prior, the San Francisco Giants slugger had hit his 755th career home run to tie Hank Aaron's all-time record. And, for those next three days, Bond's every at-bat became a stop down as baseball fans everywhere wondered if this would be the moment a new home run king would crowned.
Then August 7 came. The Giants were playing the second game of a home stand against the Washington Nationals. With the record-breaking homer seemingly imminent, it was a hard ticket to come by.
Five pitches into a Bonds at-bat versus Nationals pitcher Mike Bacsik the count had gone full. The sold-out crowd at AT&T Park held their collective breath in anticipation. Bonds unloaded on pitch No. 6. It was a foul ball down the first base line. The tension, to be sure, was palpable.
Then came pitch No. 7: a history-making hanging fastball that put Bonds alone atop the record books. The crowd erupted. The fan who caught the ball was escorted to safety by a large team of San Francisco police officers. A 10-minute celebration stopped down the game.
In short, it was one of the most memorable moments in modern baseball history.
For Giants fan Leo Rocco, though, the moment was especially memorable — albeit for a completely different reason. Rocco, who was at the game, missed Bond's record-breaking moment entirely. Thinking he had plenty of time before Bond's next plate appearance, he decided to make a beer run.
If only, he thought in retrospect, the concessionaires knew he was coming so that they could have already had the beers poured. Even better: What if he could somehow pay for the beers in advance as well? If this were possible, he figured, concession lines could be eliminated altogether. More important: Nobody would ever have to miss another home run again.
Two years later, Rocco launched the smart phone app GoPago (pronounced “go pay go”) in San Francisco. The free app, available in both the Apple App Store and the Android Market, puts the menus of local restaurants at one's fingertips. Better yet, it allows the user to pay in advance. But, best of all, it also stores credit card information so that, after one's first order, future food runs become a one-click process.
As of two weeks ago, Dallas became just the second market to begin using the app. And places like Greenville Avenue Pizza Co., Quesa-D-Ya's, Rusty Taco and Bread Winners Cafe have already jumped on board.
In all, food from 59 DFW area restaurants can be pre-ordered and pre-purchased through the app so far.
But GoPago has further implications than simply abbreviating food runs. It enhances loyalty programs as well.
For instance, since all the data is stored online, vendors no longer have to rely on customers to keep track of punch cards before awarding free food items. Similarly, coupons can be disseminated electronically as well. The app streamlines both of these processes.
And food is just the beginning. Already a handful of spas and nail salons in San Francisco have begun incorporating GoPago into their business models. According to a rep for the company, flower shops, tailors and other types of businesses in San Francisco are already being targeted to help further expand the app's capabilities.
It's fair to assume that a part of Leo Rocco still regrets leaving his seat that fateful night in August. He did, after all, narrowly miss witnessing the most widely engrossing event in Major League Baseball history that will probably ever occur during his lifetime.
On the other hand, one might say Rocco hit it out of the park with the idea he hatched that night as well.