According to a recent Pew Research study, the United States is almost entirely mobile now, with more than two-thirds of its adult citizens owning a smartphone. The vast majority of Americans carry a high-powered smart device everywhere they go, and restaurant owners can’t underestimate the importance of complimentary WiFi in their dining rooms. Let’s take a look at the five key benefits of offering free WiFi in restaurants and the best ways to approach it:
1. Better Customer Retention
Your restaurant patrons are more connected than ever, and the fact is most of them expect guest WiFi services to be available at your venue. Research has shown that free wireless internet is among the top restaurant technologies that positively influence brand reputation and can even be a primary determining factor in where customers choose to eat. If you’re unclear on how free WiFi and customer loyalty intersect, it’s important to remember how costly mobile phone data plans can be. You restaurant guests almost always spend some portion of their visit waiting idly for service, a time in which they invariably reach for their smartphones. So, while customers might have data plans already, they have caps, and restaurant guests appreciate the opportunity to use a complimentary wireless service. Market studies have repeatedly demonstrated that 60% of restaurants increase customer loyalty after implementing guest WiFi. The service gives customers a chance to read reviews and even review the menu online without worrying about using up valuable mobile data. The upshot is that free WiFi can go a long way in encouraging repeat business.
2. Free WiFi Encourages More Foot Traffic And Large Groups
Your restaurant could be in an urban environment or situated along a deserted stretch of road -people are always looking for free WiFi service, sometimes even more than a bite to eat. When they see your restaurant offers complimentary WiFi, these guests will feel more than compelled to come in and purchase something just to use the service. In fact, a quick glance at analytics reveals that one of the most common Google is “restaurants with free WiFi near me.” Of course, advertising your free WiFi is a reliable way to get more people in the door, but it also attracts larger groups. Sports fans who attend sports bars frequently need web access to check league scores and participate in group events like fantasy drafts. Coffee shops and diners that offer guest WiFi attract more professional crowds that need to meet outside the office. Remote workers, too, can easily convert to frequent customers through a simple guest WiFi service.
3. Complimentary WiFi Users Spend More
Some restaurant owners may have expressly avoided installing free WiFi out of concern that their guests might loiter too long and drain on their available resources, interfering with new sales. The data, however, tells a different story because the longer customers stay in an establishment, the more money they spend. Most businesses confirm that they were able to increase revenue after providing free internet access in their dining rooms.
4. Increased Brand Recognition
Customers who frequent your restaurant regularly to take vibrant photos of your food and decor while tagging your business social site are grossly underrated. They’re letting all their friends and family know much they enjoy their experience while using your free WiFi, and a healthy social media footprint goes a long way in increasing brand awareness. If you own a large bar or restaurant where customers are frequently roaming on their feet, PCH Technologies can help you create a wireless mesh to ensure your customers can take selfies no matter where they are in your building. This step can’t be underestimated. One of the first things a highly connected customer remembers about your venue is whether or not you had a strong and consistent WiFi signal. The average consumer wireless router doesn’t send WiFi signals strong enough to pass through partitions, concrete walls, and multiple floors. A reputable IT provider like PCH Technologies can set you up with wireless access points and create a custom wireless mesh at reasonable costs. If you offer free WiFi, your guests should be able to access it anywhere in your restaurant. Your patrons will reward you, in kind, by sharing diverse images of your establishment on social sites and spreading the good word about your brand.
5. Improved Insight Into Your Market
Many commercial-free WiFi services compel guests to log in to their social media accounts or provide a valid email before using the complimentary service. This lets you run digital and email market campaigns specifically tailored to your guests’ needs and even potential new clientele under their similar demographic. The main takeaway here is that you should to give customers what they want (free WiFi in restaurants) and watch your business grow. If you need help establishing a wireless perimeter or fine-tuning your connection range, give the team at PCH Technologies a call today at (856) 754-7500.