Technology November 20, 2014 Last updated September 18th, 2018 777 Reads share

Free Wi-Fi: Should Restaurants Be Offering It?

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Free Wi-Fi is not an alien thing anymore to people around the world. It’s being offered in so many places across the globe. You can now even find

Did You Know?

  • 61% customers look for Wi-Fi in restaurants
  • 36% visit restaurants offering free Wi-Fi
  • 27% visit more frequently to restaurants that offer free Wi-Fi
  • 45% opine it’s important to have Wi-Fi access while dining or drinking

So, just adding free Wi-Fi to the amenities that they provide to the restaurant owners can help increase their business manifold. Besides, there are other ways through which offering free Wi-Fi can morph the way a restaurant functions. In the near future, restaurants are expected to offer even more to their customers in terms of technology. And it is likely to add fun to the customer experiences as well, making it a lot smoother and better.

Here’s a quick look at some of the ways Wi-Fi in restaurants can be used in the near future to make the experience better for the customers.

Touch Screen Ordering

Touch screen ordering is surely ‘the thing’ to look up to when it comes to future trends of free restaurant Wi-Fi. Even a few years back, it wasn’t possible for customers to customize their orders in restaurants once they had placed it. But the touchscreen kiosks in the restaurants are now helping them change their orders when necessary. As the Vice President of the burger chain White Castle, Jamie Richardson says: “The kiosk system allows customers to tailor to their tastes—they can ask for more pickle or less onion, for example—in their own space.”

So, this free Wi-Fi can add to the experience of the users at the restaurant. They will be able to order food, ask for the bill and also order a cab.

Interactive Tables for Food Selection and Ordering

Won’t it be great if you could receive the food within a short while of ordering? Restaurants are working on this process of reducing the time spent from ordering to the receipt of food at the table. A great addition to help the process are the interactive tables. The menu is projected on these touchscreen tables and the customers can place their orders there. The orders are received directly by the staff in the kitchen, which helps to reduce the time taken.

Menu Card Going Digital

Gone are the days of paper menu cards. These days, almost everything has gone digital. And so is the case with the menu cards. Many of the restaurants are now using iPads in place of these menu cards. So, the customers can now place their orders through these iPads and wait for their foods to be delivered within a short time.

Sharing Experiences in Real Time

Wi-Fi makes it easy to share reviews about the restaurants. If a person is satisfied by the food quality and performances of the restaurant staff, he can immediately post reviews about it online through his smart device. And this is where the Wi-Fi comes in handy. In fact, it also helps to find the best restaurants close to you that are given on various websites.

The Negative Side

Not everything in the garden is rosy though for the restaurants when it comes to offering free Wi-Fi. There are a few cons as well. For example, a popular restaurant in New York City has shared their experience on how offering free Wi-Fi has affected them in a negative way.

It’s absolutely true. Customers usually tend to spend more time in the restaurant when it offers free Wi-Fi. But not necessarily all the time spent there by the customers adds up to the restaurant’s profit. In fact, a lot of time is spent by surfing the internet on their smartphones.

This has a negative impact on the performance of the waiters at the restaurant. Besides being preoccupied with Wi-Fi, the customers also do not seem to be concentrating properly while they order. So, a lot of them have to reorder their foods, which takes up the staff’s time. This also slows down the service speed of the restaurant significantly.

The Pros Outweigh the Cons

But as many as 20% of the customers have also said that they buy more in restaurants offering free Wi-Fi. So, it is sure to reflect positively on the balance sheet as well.

Despite the few cons that exist when restaurants offer free Wi-Fi, the advantages are many. This is why it is an in-vogue thing. And more and more restaurants across the globe are trying to include free Wi-Fi in their menu for the customers.

Images: ”TORONTO,CANADA-JUNE 23,2014: Restaurants are starting to use digital technology for self serving regarding the customer seeing their menu, ordering and paying their bill./ Shutterstock.com

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Steven Scheck

Steven Scheck

Steven Scheck is the Principal of Inspire WiFi, the nationwide leader of Wi-Fi networks for the multifamily, hospitality and healthcare industries. He has recently expressed his thoughts and opinion about apartment WiFi and hospital WiFi. He is also very involved in philanthropic causes in Miami and nationally.

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