If you run a coffee shop or any other sort of small cafe or restaurant, you're probably already feeling the push to offer your guests free WiFi... if you haven't already.
These days, at least four out of five guests are going to be influenced by the presence of free WiFi at a location. They want to be able to check their email and Facebook while they're sitting down, and they will preferentially go to shops that allow it.
Now, for a coffee shop, there's an immediate benefit for this: The longer people are there, the more coffee and pie they're likely to buy. So WiFi encourages them to hang around.
However, there are plenty of other options for monetizing your WiFi. Far from being a burden, it actually opens up new revenue opportunities!
Five Killer Ways Hopitality WiFi Can Boost Your Cafe Business
1 - At-Table Ordering
Larger chains like Chili's are experimenting with putting tablets at people's tables, to take orders. You might not have the budget for that, but you could still set up a portal that allows orders directly from a visitor's phone or tablet.
2 - Tiered Services
The basic concept is simple enough: Have a slower free service for your hospitality WiFi, and at least one faster service as a premium offering. There are two basic ways you could work this:
Make it a simple pay-for-access affair. People have the option to add a day of high-speed service to the bill. This, too, could be done through a server-side portal.
Use it as a bonus for a "VIP Membership Club," or even as the freebie for getting a sufficient number of holes in a punchcard.
High speeds are cheap these days. The actual extra cost to you for adding a higher level of speed is likely to be minimal, and it can be a big draw if you've got the most reliable connections in town.
3 - Partnered Advertisements
This is a brand-new concept, currently being implemented by high-end hotels like the MGM in Las Vegas. Basically, if there are partner companies nearby providing services you don't, give them direct advertising access on your network.
Is your cafe cozy and romantic? Set up deals with the nearest florist and chocolate shop to deliver on-demand, for a small cut and/or advertising fees. Suddenly, your shop is the perfect place for guys to take their ladies on special occasions... even if they're having to order their flowers 'under the table,' literally.
It builds friendly relationships with nearby businesses with overlapping but non-competitive interests, while creating new revenue streams.
4 - Customer Tracking
Beyond sales tricks, don't forget the value that lies in data. Simply having modern directional access points means you don't just see every user on your system, you have extensive information on their physical activities.
From which directions they come from at what times of day, to exactly how many times a customer uses your restroom, you can accumulate an incredible amount of data for optimizing your operations.
5 - Surveys And More Data-Gathering
"Charge" people to access your Internet by having them answer a short survey. Just 2-4 questions, so it isn't annoying. This is a long-term strategy, but over 6-12 months, you can get a lot of insight into your customers' mindsets.
Since your server can track them by MAC address, it's relatively easy to set up a dynamic script that serves personalized questions to each guest. So if you have a set of, say, 50 questions, they could be slowly answered over the course of many visits.
Wi-Fi Boosts Any Business