Should my restaurant offer free Wi-Fi?


If you’re a restaurant owner trying to decide if you should offer free Wi-Fi, the answer isn’t cut and dry. For some restaurants, free Wi-Fi results in happier customers and an increase in sales. For others, free Wi-Fi means fewer customers and disgruntled employees. If you’re considering free Wi-Fi, here are a few points to mull over. Pros of Free Wi-Fi
  • Adding free Wi-Fi to your menu could attract more customers. According to a report by Small Biz Trends, almost 50 percent of consumers believe it’s important to have Wi-Fi access while they eat or drink in a restaurant. Nearly one third of consumers say they’re more likely to patronize a restaurant that offers free Wi-Fi than one that doesn’t.
  • Free Wi-Fi can be used as a promotional tool that helps your restaurant stand out from the competition.
  • Patrons may stay in your restaurant longer if they have free Wi-Fi, and that could lead to more sales. This may be particularly true if your restaurant is located in an area where people have limited Internet access at home.
  • No cost Wi-Fi may draw in people who otherwise wouldn’t frequent your establishment. This gives you the chance to win them over as repeat customers.
  • Offering free Wi-Fi can enrich your customer’s experience and reinforce the fact that you value their patronage, both of which can enhance your restaurant’s reputation for service.
Cons of Free Wi-Fi
  • Paying for public Wi-Fi may increase your Internet bill.
  • Some customers won’t know how to connect to Wi-Fi, so they’ll ask for help, which distracts your employees from their work.
  • If your Wi-Fi isn’t as fast as your customers expect it to be, they could leave without placing an order, give your restaurant a bad review, or both.
  • Internet users might sit at a table for hours, which prevents it from being turned over and results in lost revenue. Plus, your servers will be upset they’re not getting the tips they’re used to, and that could lead to other problems.
As a restaurant owner, you know your customers and your establishment better than anyone. Review these pros and cons and decide for yourself whether offering free Wi-Fi is right for your business.   Back to FAQ Questions

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