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Integrating Free Wi-Fi Into Your Restaurant: The Advantages

  • by: Robin Johnston
  • On: 3, May 2018
6 min read

Regardless what your restaurant offers on the menu, you can be sure your customers are looking for one thing from you: free Wi-Fi. In fact, one survey showed 70% of customers felt Wi-Fi made their restaurant experience better. Restaurants that have Wi-Fi include: Atlanta Bread; Newk's Eatery; Black Rock Bar and Grill; The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company; and others. In today's society, Wi-Fi is a necessity. Restaurants use it to drive sales and visits by rewarding, identifying, and retaining their top customers.

It's also possible to send targeted promotions and messages, to enable a restaurant to strengthen customer loyalty, engage with those who visit their business, and increase the chance of return visits. Following are some of the advantages of having free Wi-Fi.

How Analytics Can Help Your Business if You Have free Wi-Fi

Did you know that even if your customers don't log in to your Wi-Fi you will can use sensors to gather data, analyze it, and react to customer behavior in real time?  

Even though your business has an actual location, the same as other brick-and-mortar locations, you can use big data and technology to benchmark key performance indicators for your restaurant. You can tell if someone is in your business for the first time, or if it is a repeat customer. You can even determine how often a customer is likely to visit and what his or her lifetime value may be for your restaurant. 

Use Your Captive Portal Page to Promote Your Business

Whenever you use free Wi-Fi anywhere, whether in a restaurant, hotel, airport, or somewhere else, you first have to accept the terms of use before browsing. This is called the captive portal.

One reason for doing this is to be certain a user would accept reasonable standards before using your Wi-Fi, to keep him or her from irresponsible behavior online, but that's not the only advantage. 

You also have the chance to highlight your menu items or special events. Guests get to use the Internet for free, so they won't mind viewing a brief promotion. You can place the name of a special or well known menu item with your business name following, which will help the customers remember that item for longer. 

BUILD Your email list

It is possible for customers to use your free wi-fi with their favorite social media account. If they login with a simple few clicks, you will have all their important social media details. This includes email addresses, their name, and much more.

Use Email to Promote Your Business

Once you have your customer's email address, you can send coupons, special offers, email newsletters, and promotions--even long after they have visited. Another way to get a customer's email address or phone number is to require it to get free Wi-Fi.  

You Can Increase Your Business By Having Wi-Fi

Some surveys have shown that 64% of consumers choose a restaurant with Wi-Fi capability. Use this as an incentive to draw in diners. They can get some work done or use social media without using up data.

You Need High Quality Wi-Fi to Make Customers Notice You

Before you offer free Internet to your customers, you need to consider the kind of Internet you should offer. First you need a high enough speed, which will allow unlimited downloads. Before you begin, you'll need a broadband connection will meet all your needs. Above 24Mb should meet most customers' needs. 

You also should have Wi-Fi that provides immediate access to a support center, in case you have connection problems. Your Internet should include a self-diagnostic system that will help you solve most connection issues, with a chance to click on a link to be connected to a support center, where someone could guide you through the process of solving any problems and any connection issues. 

You should have a network for you and your staff and another for your customers. This way, everything will be more secure, with special settings for each network. There should be a section of bandwidth assigned to each network. Your business can take send emails, take card payments, and stream music, and your guests can have the rest of the bandwidth. 

You will need the right kind of cybersecurity, with at least a WPA2' level security.

To increase safety, you can: 

  • Change passwords frequently 
  • Add extra firewalls 
  • Hide your router to keep anyone from using it. 

Today most businesses have Wi-Fi, and it is a strong business tool. Don't overlook the many ways it can help your restaurant. 

 guest wi-fi at restaurants

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