Why your restaurant should offer complimentary Wi-Fi

And how you can get everything Wi-Fi offers you

by Johanna Key, Senior Marketing Communications Manager, AT&T In-Building Solutions & Wi-Fi

Sixty-four percent of your customers expect complimentary Wi-Fi when they walk in the door and 40% (predominantly Millennials) consider it a “very important” factor when choosing where to eat. And why not? Everyone knows they can surf through their meal without racking up huge data overages. And the longer patrons stay—think students during finals or business lunches—the more they are likely to order.

Of course, slow Wi-Fi can be as deadly to business as surly service or dated décor. But assuming you’ve found a reliable link with the bandwidth to handle the noon rush, there are deeper benefits that Wi-Fi can deliver—not just to your customers but your staff, your individual locations and your overall organization.

Create better customer experiences

Surfing social media, looking up headlines and stocks, writing the presentation for the big meeting. They’re only the most obvious reasons customers choose the bistro with the complimentary Wi-Fi sign in the window. But the technology that brings them in can make the rest of their visit run just as smoothly.

For example, Wi-Fi enables other in-store marketing tools, like coupons delivered to your customer’s inbox before they arrive. Self-ordering (“line-busting”) when they get there and a pay-at-table option when they leave are all made possible with Wi-Fi. Digital signage, powered by Wi-Fi, delivers more details about menu offerings. Managers’ connected devices can even alert them when an item is running low, giving them time to steer patrons to other selections.  

Considering that your customers can write online reviews at their table, the added benefits of offering complimentary Wi-Fi go a long way to making sure those reviews are positive.

More than a convenience, it’s an expectation


Create a more congenial work environment

Many of the advantages for customers are also a boon to your managers and staff. When customers self-order, that reduces lines (and stress) while freeing up servers to anticipate patrons’ other needs. And of course, happy patrons are easier to serve.

Orders are easier to track and harder to get wrong. Changing a digital sign requires a few keyboard strokes instead of a step stool and chalk. And instead of catching up on inventories from day to day, what’s in the walk-in can be tracked from minute to minute.

In short, the same technology that makes your restaurant a favorite place for customers can also make it a favorite place for people to work. After all, managers and staff write online reviews, too.

Create deeper customer relationships

Wi-Fi enables a free exchange of ideas and information between you and your customers. Your login page can ask for email addresses and birthdays. Suddenly it’s not so hard to surprise and delight customers with an unexpected coupon, or keep track of loyalty points. And Wi-Fi opens a direct channel by which you can share news about your restaurants, while customers can give their own feedback.

You can choose to control your network from a central location or delegate autonomy to chosen restaurants. A flexible cloud deployment eliminates the need for on-site hardware and tech staff. And custom-built applications can meet unique local situations.

Offering complimentary Wi-Fi is more than a convenience for working lunchers. It can facilitate better customer experiences. It can make work easier for everyone from the dining room to the back office. And, it can enable more meaningful ways for you to relate to and engage with the customers you have—and the ones you want to attract.

For details and additional insights, visit our AT&T Business Wi-Fi site.

National Restaurant Association Show 2018

It’s time to build your brand’s loyalty through digital transformation. The highly secure digital solutions from AT&T can help improve the guest experience and streamline restaurant operations.

Join AT&T Business at Booth #822 at the National Restaurant Association Show 2018 from May 19-22 in Chicago to learn about our Wi-Fi offerings and other solutions. We look forward to seeing you there!