As with any technology you implement in your restaurant, make sure you’re aware of the goals you need to accomplish. With wifi, speed and accessibility for customers are paramount. Without those two things running smoothly, the use of wifi at your establishment will become more of a hassle than a resource. Wifi is now a commodity and a tool to enhance the guest experience at your restaurant. It is also another way to entice customers to come to your location instead of a competitor. At the end of the day, if a customer comes into your store to use your wifi and not necessarily because they know your food is better than the place next door… that’s still a win for your business!
Guest WiFi solutions represent a strategic opportunity for restaurant operators to differentiate the customer’s experience and dramatically improve business results. Given the volatile evolution of competitive market pressures and WiFi technology, it is advantageous for operators to give careful consideration to future proofing their Guest WiFi deployments. Guest WiFi has evolved from a simple matter of Internet access into a complex, nuanced offering, capable of intelligently addressing overwhelming guest needs with limited resources while driving profitable results.
“We’re giving the customer the benefit of more information,” Banaszek said. “The Meraki dashboard lets us see that we have more smart phones and handheld devices on the network, along with some iPads. So we need to tailor our offers to be clear on the small screens.”
Applebee’s hopes to start using the wireless network for handheld tableside order entry and payment in the next few months. In addition, other vendors such as Muzak, Tap Dynamics (a beer monitoring system), the energy management system, and the jukebox system may utilize the wireless to eliminate hard wires.
At businesses where customers must wait for service (such as auto repair, doctor’s or dentist’s offices, or legal practices) free WiFi helps wait times fly by. When customers are being productive or entertained during their wait, they are less likely to be frustrated by its length—even if delays occur.
In today’s hyper-digital, on-the-go society, free WiFi is ceasing to be a perk. Customers not only expect free access, they use it as a criterion for deciding which businesses to patronize and which to pass over. Is your small business losing customer goodwill—and sales—by failing to offer it???