An independent sandwich shop and Richmond Business Award winner in Richmond is one of the first to allow customers to pay for goods using a face recognition mobile phone app.

Last year’s best website winner Cook and Garcia, located in The Quadrant, has raked in customers by maximising its online presence and using the latest technology in store.

The shop, which opened its doors in May last year, is one of 12 shops in Richmond to use the app, launched by PayPal, in store after a three-month trial period.

Customers can log into their PayPal account and check into the store using their mobile phone allowing the retailer to approve payment by clicking on the customer’s photo which appears on screen.

Janet Garcia, who co-founded the sandwich shop with husband Richard, said: “It’s the single fastest payment method. It’s really quick and we get really busy in the shop and this means there is no cash, no change, no credit cards, no chip and pin.

“Their name and picture comes up so from a customer service point of view it is really good.”

The shop has also launched an online ordering system whereby customers can tailor make their lunch, pay for it and then collect it in store without the need to queue.

Mrs Garcia, from Teddington, said: “There are only so many people we can fit through the door so we will do anything we can to try to alleviate the queues. Both the app and the online ordering system are really good for that.”

The shop’s specials are posted on its social media accounts daily and it also offers business lunches which can be ordered online.

She said: “Even though we are just a traditional sandwich shop we have recognised that engaging with the online community is really important.”

Cook and Garcia has recently expanded, with a counter in the office of a business in Richmond.