Providing WiFi for your customers can improve footfall, social media engagement and, as a direct result, turnover. In this article we explore how to choose and implement the right solution, what to look out for and how to get the biggest return for a modest investment.
Your guest WiFi system should give you the opportunity to reinforce your brand and promote your business (menus, special offers, upcoming events, etc.). Make sure that the solution you choose can be customised with YOUR branding, not the supplier's.
The ideal solution should promote your venue in three ways:
By providing WiFi to your customers, you are satisfying their desire to stay connected to their friends. However, it's YOUR internet connection that they are using and you have a level of corporate responsibility for what happens via that internet connection. For example, if a customer were to try to hack into the FBI database while enjoying a beer or two, you would need to demonstrate that it's not an activity that you condone!
For this reason, you should ensure that your customers can't access your WiFi network without some positive acknowledgement on their part, i.e. a captive login process. There are a number of different ways of doing this:
Whichever login method you choose, make sure it's YOUR branding that the customer sees and make it simple for them to use.
Many of your competitors already provide WiFi to their customers. You didn't know that? No - neither do their customers!
For some reason, a lot of bars, restaurants and coffee shops invest in the technology needed to provide guest WiFi - and then don't actually TELL their customers. If you're going to install a customer WiFi solution, make sure you:
Don't let your WiFi become your venue's best-kept secret.
Offering WiFi to your customers can easily result in increased sales. Not only are you encouraging customers to stay longer, but you may also begin to attract business customers during normally quiet periods - those wanting somewhere quiet to catch up with emails between meetings or even to hold meetings with potential customers. The benefits are obvious.
But how do you prevent customers - those who can make a coffee last for hours - from abusing your hospitality?
The answer is simple: choose a WiFi system that has been specifically designed for the hospitality market! Such a system will allow you to set a time limit for guest access to the network - 30 minutes, for example - after which the customer will be disconnected. If your policy is to provide 30 minutes WiFi with every purchase, you will likely find that customers either leave after that period or purchase another drink, in which case spend increases as a result! Alternatively, you may wish to give customers access to the WiFi network free of charge for the first hour, with the option to pay a fee thereafter, regardless of any food or drinks purchase they make. It's YOUR venue and it's up to you how you make your money.
If we've given you food for thought (pun intended) about providing WiFi for your customers, why not call us to discuss your requirements. We have 15 years of experience and can provide a range of wireless network solutions designed specifically for the hospitality industry. Better still, our prices start at under £100 for a fully-managed state-of-the-art solution - we look after the system while you concentrate on running your business.