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Should you offer free wifi to your diners?

Should you offer free wifi to your diners?

If you’ve been wondering about the value of offering complimentary wifi to your diners, the answer is simple.

Yes!

But, let us elaborate on how providing free wifi can help your restaurant gain more revenue and become a favourite place for people of all ages to hang out.

New and loyal customers

A lot of people, particularly millennials and Gen Z-ers take pictures of their meals and post them on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and even Twitter. This user-generated content will provide you with a boost of free publicity which could result in new, loyal customers. Free wifi will facilitate this process as customers do not need to use their personal cellular data.

Become a hub

In addition to generating additional customers through user-generated content, providing free wifi will make your restaurant become a hub for local internet users. This is a relatively inexpensive way of gaining a lot more recurring customers.

WiFi

Before you buy a wifi connection for your restaurant, here are some questions to ask yourself.

Do my guests need wifi?

There’s little point in spending to provide free wifi if it’s not a requirement of your guests. So before you do, ask your frequent, loyal customers some basic questions.

Would they appreciate free Wi-Fi?
How long would they likely use Wi-Fi in one sitting?
What would they use Wi-Fi for?
Would they prefer a password-protected hotspot or one that’s completely open?


Providing free Wi-Fi can make your business more attractive to customers, as long as meets their expectations.


Can I give my business wifi for guests to use?

While this may seem like a money-saver, this will only hurt your business in the long run. Do not do this as it will open up your online systems to hackers, therefore, making your client data vulnerable. Be sure to set up separate wifi networks for guests and for internal business activities. This will help in preventing security breaches and reinforce the trust between you, your staff and your customers.

Can I set up the network myself?

Unless you’re a professional, don’t. It’s best to leave these sort of things to a professional as setting up a network also includes setting up firewalls etc that reinforce security. In addition to this, be sure to locate your router in a place that will provide a good network connection for all the guests in your dining area.

How much bandwidth do I need?

Bandwidth determines the speed of the internet.
It is important for your connection to have enough bandwidth so that it will not frustrate your customers. Generally, you need at least 120 kilobits per second for each person for a connection to be stable and fast enough to browse without much hassle. As such 10 users will need a bandwidth of 1.2 megabits per second. Consider how many guests you would concurrently have during the busiest time in the restaurant, and purchase a connection that can handle that load.

Should I password-secure the wifi connection?

Yes.
Password protecting your wifi will also help immensely in securing the connection. One of the best ways of giving access to the password is through receipts. This will encourage your guests to buy something from your restaurant to access wifi. Remember to change the password regularly too.

In addition to this, you may want to consider limiting the usage by time to prevent people spending way too much time in your restaurant, causing other customers to wait for seats or go to a different restaurant. By limiting the usage time, customers will still benefit from free wifi while enjoying their meals, but won’t cause them to spend too much within the restaurant which might keep others waiting.

So there you go, if you are thinking of installing a free wifi connection in your restaurant, be sure to consider all of the above factors as this will help you set up a secure, fast network that your customers will enjoy and keep coming back to.

August 9th, 2019 By DinersTalk Team

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