In a time where connectivity rules the day and data plans are the most valuable part of a cell phone package, a ‘free wi-fi’ sign is like a glowing beacon for the device-connected population. In many cases, you don’t even need a sign because the devices themselves can scan for free Wi-Fi and lead customers straight through your door. Why? Because you’re giving them the online access they crave without eating into their precious on-the-go data plans. Customers love Wi-Fi. And many of them rely on it to support their mobile information-era lifestyles. If your restaurant boasts a free Wi-Fi network, you’ll start to see more than just your regulars and a few walk-ins each day. In fact, you’re very likely to gain an entirely new kind of regulars and walk-ins alike as people follow their phones (and noses) to your comfy seats, delicious food, and wonderfully free data access.
Free Wi-Fi adds an entirely new draw to your venue, one in which people will come for your data and stay for a meal. Many people live their entire lives coasting between Wi-Fi-zones and one of the most prominent, appreciative, and high-tipping varieties are the laptop professionals. These are people who are living the dream with real jobs that can be done remotely through their laptops and other mobile devices. Free but not home-bodies, these professionals could be working from home but they either need to be on the road or prefer to be surrounded by people without the strict environment of a business office. Free restaurant Wi-Fi draws them like moths to the flame and free coffee refills will win you a customer for life.
Students and Study Groups
As technology moves forward, so too does education. Even high schools are offering a larger number of assignments that can be finished remotely and turned in online. This means that any student old enough to drive is likely to gather alone and in large groups of friends anywhere there is free Wi-Fi and a cool ambiance for hanging out in. These hungry young people are often eager to congregate and study in restaurants where there is a ready supply of soft drinks, appetizers, and big meals for sharing. When you make your venue welcoming for these study groups by helping them push together tables and keep their checks separate, you could easily become their new favorite hangout and meet-up spot even when studying is not the primary goal.
Travelers on Road Trips
While regulars are fantastic, every diner who walks through your doors counts toward your overall success. Travelers have long since been a great source of business for friendly local restaurants because they need a place to rest for a while and a meal to hold them over until their next stop. That said, the modern traveler also needs a place to check their messages, re-load their directions, and quite probably check in on their favorite online games for a few minutes. This means that restaurants with free Wi-Fi are now getting more than their usual share of customers currently on road trips.
Families And Friends
When determining where to take the family, more and more are considering their data plans making public Wi-Fi a lot more desirable. Entertaining kids with mobile gaming or online chat is one way that your “free” Wi-Fi makes a difference, but consider the incredible value of positive online reviews, or photo of your appetizingly arranged plates being shared on Facebook. It’s a great way to influence friends to come on in and enjoy!
Added Bonus – Customer Metrics
Free restaurant Wi-Fi is a value not only for your patrons, but also for your marketing and operations teams. With sophisticated metrics and behavioral segmentation, your Wi-Fi can be a powerful tool to monitor consumers and entice their return. Integration with loyalty programs and trigger based or scheduled automated marketing campaigns can aid you in understanding your consumer base and provide terrific incentives at appropriate times. An intelligent Wi-Fi solution is today’s top marketing device for savvy restaurants, and with predictive analysis, can help smart operations managers with scheduling and ordering based upon demand projections.
There are so many ways that free Wi-Fi can boost your restaurant business because it makes your venue more welcoming and accommodating to modern customers hooked into the online world through their mobile devices. In order to help your new customers find you, make sure to announce your free Wi-Fi in every way possible. Put it on your website landing page, place a glowing ‘free Wi-Fi’ sign in your window and name your network something like ‘Free Wi-Fi at Joe’s Pizza’ so scanning travelers and foot traffic know who to come to. From the laptop lifestyle professionals to parents keeping their kids busy with cell phones, your Wi-Fi is a wonderful tool for accessibility, providing a double-experience for your consumers of online connection and a wonderful meal in the real world and providing value to you for real time metrics.