Coffee in a cafe

Paving the way for social hospitality

Over the last five years, Wi-Fi has moved from being a perk to an expectation when the average person is out and about. It’s a common amenity necessary to fulfil our connected lifestyles. Free Wi-Fi can usually be accessed by all in larger scale shopping centres, meaning that the big chain coffee shops and restaurants may be the venue of choice. In a Forbes survey it was noted that behind good coffee, good staff and great atmosphere, a free Wi-Fi connection was the fourth factor that customers look for in a great coffee shop. However, many independents are flying the flag for the first three, but are not securely able to fulfil the third. They don’t have the capacity to open up their Wi-Fi as they may not have the bandwidth required or the security measures in place to restrict websites being accessed.

But do coffee shops and restaurants need this? The simple answer is yes.

Millennials are prone to posting selfies and photos of their food; many business people will need to stay connected to the office at all times; and parents may wish to keep their kids entertained while waiting for a table.

Not to mention the lone diner or customer who may use the internet to pass the time when waiting.

Eight years after Pizza Express rolled out free Wi-Fi to its 400 restaurants, it reported that more than 200,000 of its customers had logged on to the service. It’s certainly proved to be popular with its diners.

The internet, and the devices that connect to it, have become as big a necessity as electricity, water, and gas.

If you don’t provide Wi-Fi to your customers, you’re not fulfilling their expectations, or profiting from the many benefits free internet access provides.

When people go out to eat, they have a huge range of restaurants to choose from, so you need to make your establishment stand out as much as possible; offering free Wi-Fi (and boasting about it) is a good way to do this.

Customers are increasingly choosing to pay for goods and services using mobile applications, such as Apple Pay, because it’s quick and easy. More importantly, it allows customers to pay when they want – no longer do they have to wait around for the bill and the card machine to arrive.

This will decrease the levels of customer frustration and ensure they always leave happy, which of course makes them more likely to return.

However, they can’t use such services without an internet connection. In fact many of the new technologies you may want to implement in your restaurant won’t be possible without Wi-Fi.

Customers who connect to your free Wi-Fi are likely to spend more time in your restaurant, which gives you the opportunity to up-sell.

That businessperson that is trying to make the most of the free connection will happily buy dessert or another drink if it means they can stay for longer and finish their work.

Through your Wi-Fi service, you can also push targeted adverts and promotions to your customers for current or future visits.

You’re bound to boost your customer loyalty if you offer them an incentive to return.

The Instagram generation loves to take photos of their fancy food, tweet selfies with their friends and ‘check in’ to places on Facebook.

This is all free promotion for your restaurant – you want your customers to be able to do these things! Therefore, it makes sense to provide them with the means.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why you should implement Wi-Fi in your restaurant.

In fact, you’d be foolish not to, and might fall out of favour with younger customers if you choose to ignore the obvious demand.

So how can Fuse help you? Get in Touch

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