Look at the windows near the doors of most restaurants these days and you’ll see a new, yet familiar logo. Nestled next to the hours of operation and the logos of the major credit cards accepted, you’ll find the broadcast symbol for Wi-Fi.
As the world becomes more connected, getting a burger with a side of Wi-Fi was a natural evolution of the restaurant industry. This is especially true since 40% of those polled by Technomic.com said that free Wi-Fi was an important factor when deciding where to eat. And 65% surveyed said they expect Wi-Fi in quick-service restaurants.
But giving customers and guests free access to the Internet isn’t just about making them happy. There’s also the added benefit of helping your business grow.
Let Wi-Fi Drive More Business Your Way
By simply advertising that your establishment offers Wi-Fi immediately drives business your way due to the large number of consumers that are looking for a free connection. Plus, lone diners, who would normally choose not to eat alone, are more likely to come in for a bite because they’ve got their social media accounts to keep them company.
Gather Customer Data So You Can Market Your Restaurant
As your guests start logging into your network, you’ll be able to pull data for marketing purposes. From email addresses, social media accounts and gathered cookies, customer information will allow you to streamline online ads or contact them directly through subscription lists. Either way, you’ll be able to market your restaurant to your customers so they’ll come back.
Cultivate Customer Loyalty
Another benefit of free Wi-Fi is that you can use it to build customer loyalty. And with 56% of restaurant patrons saying they are not loyal to a particular restaurant and an annual estimated $956 million in lost revenue due to customers never coming back, you need to do everything you can to turn them into repeat guests. Encouraging social media check-ins or participation in a loyalty program can be rewarded with free or discounted food.
Learn What They Think About You
One of the easiest ways to get a snapshot of what customers think of the food and service you provide is to ask them to fill out a survey. Unfortunately, most people don’t want to take the time to take pen to paper and fill out a card. But many of them are more than willing to highlight boxes on their phones, giving you and your team instant feedback.
Futureproof Your Restaurant Now
Mobile payment applications such as Apple Pay are giving customers more options when they finish their meal. This allows them to pay when they want so they don’t have to sit around waiting for your staff to drop off the bill. But Apple Pay and other similar apps aren’t an option unless the customer has access to the Internet. And while most smart phones have built-in data plans, it’s good business practice to let them use your connection instead of making them dip into the data allowance provided by their service provider.
And while it seems like universal acceptance of mobile payment apps is still years in the future, keep in mind that in July 2016, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that more than a million new users join Apple Pay every week. That’s a whole lot of diners willing to pay with their phones right now. Don’t you want to be ready to accommodate them?