Google is constantly updating search engine algorithms in favor of mobile friendly sites. Not surprisingly, people are increasingly making use of the internet while on the go. Consequently, the expectations for places with free WiFi, especially at dining venues are becoming more in demand. Offering free WiFi can provide you with series of advantages – customer satisfaction being one of them. Despite the reality, some restaurants are hesitant to take the leap of faith in providing their customers with free WiFi. They worry that the costs may overshadow the benefits but the truth of the matter is that free WiFi can impact sales. Lack of WiFi, however, is a deal breaker for many patrons who will rely on your competition that offers such access.
According to statistics, 61% of patrons search for free WiFi at restaurants. 36% of them are more likely to frequent restaurants with WiFi. 27% of customers return to places with free WiFi. 41% of them opine the importance of having access to WiFi whilst while dining and/or drinking. Once they have been seated at a table, they can use the internet to pass time as they wait for their order. By including free internet alone to the amenities can result a sharp increase of business manifold among restaurant owners. What’s more, there are many other ways in which offering free WiFi can have an effect on how the restaurant functions. Experts predict that restaurants will be expected to offer more in terms of technology to their customers in the future. Doing as such is more likely to heighten positive dining experience among them.
Shortly after jumpstarting your restaurant business, you may have already begun to display a sign at the corner of where your venue is located in attempt to gain more traffic. With more people these days using the GPS and other social mapping services like Google Maps, Yelp and Foursquare to find dining spots, your brick and mortar business will need more than just a sign spinner to gain adequate foot traffic. Offering free WiFi that is fast and efficient can put your business on the map and attract new customers. Individuals who are passing by who may not notice you will see your network. WiFi can work in the form of free advertisement, especially on mobile devices.
Not only does allowing your customers to have free and easy WiFi access encourage them to return to your venue, it also offers them the incentive to hold social gatherings at your restaurant. A WiFi survey discovered that 20 percent of businesses offering free WiFi to customers positioned themselves as “community hubs”. Various affiliates of nonprofit organizations, sports clubs, and social groups may frequent your restaurant more often primarily because of the free internet access. On top of becoming regular visitors, word about your operation may spread like wildfire to their acquaintances and new members thus increasing your visibility.
Offering free restaurant WiFi does not only benefit customers. If you are able to control the network connection, you can set your website as a homepage which will allow you to accumulate customer data and target ads directly to their mobile devices. Not only will this make your customers aware of the add-ons but will update them on special offers. With that said, Wifi is no longer an innovation that is limited to bigger and more renown food chains; smaller businesses are providing this service to both customers and staff alike.
As Google is favoring mobile-friendly sites by the day; they are indexing content from iOS apps in search results. Simply put, this method enables iPhone users to open mobile app content directly from Google Search. This means that using Google to make searches on the iPhone or iPad is no longer limited to the internet but all device apps will have that capacity. When your business is listed on the social mapping apps as initially mentioned, the search profile is raised making it more likely for your restaurant to appear in search results and clicked by patrons.
If you operate a fine dining restaurant, providing WiFi may not be in your best interest in certain situations as it can be a big distraction among guests. Easy access to the internet is proven to be less problematic at hotels, cafes, coffee shops, diners, and casual eateries. In fact, WiFi has become an expected part of one’s dining experience. As a business owner in general, it is crucial to gauge the interests of your patrons. You may not feel there is a need to provide WiFi if you are never asked to. But if customers are constantly asking you for a WiFi, you may want to reconsider this service. Ultimately, you should use your judgment to decide whether offering WiFi is best for your business or not.
Overall, the pros outweigh the cons. WiFi can help differentiate your business from your competitors. Showing your customers that you are part of today’s technology driven society can be advantageous as well. More restaurants are trying to include wireless services in their menus for customers. It’s highly recommended to keep customer and business WiFi separate from each other. A secure password protected connection with sufficient bandwidth speeds can potentially turn your restaurant into a social hub for customers of all ages!