You spend time on promoting your restaurant via social media right? Then why are you among the restaurants/bars/cafes that do not give free wifi to your guests?
In case you are missing my point: Your bar or restaurant needs to offer free wifi, period. 6 Reasons Why:
1) It costs so little. You already have Internet access at work right? If not please close this browser immediately and accept my apologies and condolences. Anyway, your connection is paid for, the only investment you need to make is (maybe) in a new router that can grant public access. Today there are routers that require zero set-up and have a guest access feature that allows you to securely share your wifi connection with guests on a separate wifi network. Such as the Cisco-Valet Plus Wireless Router which offers a password you can give to guests to log into the guest account. It is easy to setup and costs $78 or so. I use one at Evenfall and it is very easy to manage. So for $78 you can start sharing worry free.
2) Sharing your Wifi encourages social posting. After all you do to promote your place socially, make it easy for the guests to check-in etc when they are there. Wifi offers better speeds and encourages a quick share session.
3) People who use Wifi will come more frequently. I never used to go to Starbucks, then I heard about the free wifi, now I find myself there about two times a week, sometimes I take my mac book and drink a coffee or two and do some writing, or work for one of my clients, or my own businesses right in Starbucks. Now I may only spend $10-12 bucks a week there but that is just me. I imagine there are plenty of new Starbucks customers who may be more inclined to visit now. Again the ongoing cost is no higher than now… think about it. Check out this video from a Starbucks, full of people on their computers and phones:
4) It is more important than ever to offer free wifi because the mobile carriers are switching their Data plans and they are going limited. So data lovers feel a subconscious nervousness about using heavy data on the road. If your place can be a mental data oasis that they can stop by, spend a few bucks, and use wifi that is great for you. It is also bad for you if the guy down the street does it and you don’t.
5) You can advertise it. In fact make sure you advertise it. Even if you don’t relate there are people out there who will love that they can use their devices at your establishment. So get the word out. Menus, signs, a line in an email, twitter feed, facebook page… let people know. If of all your contacts 20 become more regular customers is that a plus? Yes it is.
6) People stay longer when you offer wifi, and they buy more. Now I am not suggesting this is a panacea for a horribly run business, or a bad idea, but you aren’t reading this blog because you don’t care or have no clue. An remember a nice crowd draws in other business too… so share your wifi.
What are you saying to your guests that open up their phone and see that you in fact have a wifi network, and it is locked so they can’t use it? Its a bad vibe… so do what you have to do to offer a free wifi connection to your guests. The router I mentioned before (Cisco-Valet Plus Wireless Router) is literally plug and play. But if you want to go even cheaper than that, get a wireless router and plug it into your current router and set up an open wifi network on that one for your guests. It really is that easy, and it will pay for itself really really fast.
Thanks for reading, if you have any questions, hit me up here, or @spirocks on twitter. And if you have a desire to give your restaurant a technology makeover that will save you money and bring in more business, ask me what Guestfeed can do for you, here or @spirocks I love to converse.
try instapaper or evernote I use both and love them.
Great points, however I would suggest that small businesses look around a little and potentially invest in partnering with managed wifi providers who can really leverage Wifi technology so that businesses can get greater ROI. Additionally, there should be serious consideration given to security regulations like PCI and CALEA which highlight the proper deployment of wireless technology in retail. This where managed wifi vendors can truly shine.
Recently heard about a startup in TX which is focused on managed wifi services for restaurants etc and have heard good things about them: Socialwifi.net I believe is there website