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Great Restaurant WiFi Turns Visitors Into Regulars

by John Ciarlone on April 30, 2015

Consumer adoption of ever-faster smartphones and tablets has proceeded unabated, with customers in 2015 more tied to their devices than ever before.  The availability of the 802.11ac wireless access point and Gigabit connections has turned mobile devices into go-anywhere media consumption machines, and the main (or only) way their users stay in touch with each other.

Short on time? Download our free guide "How to Create A WiFi Network   Your Guests will Love"

hospitality wifi
Prayitno / Thank you for (6 millions +) views / Source / CC BY

With restaurants struggling to stand out from the crowd, having great on-site restaurant Wi-Fi solutions can be a major selling point.  Online reviews (unsurprisingly) mention the speed of restaurants Wi-Fi ordering systems and network quite often, and it's one of the main features in a restaurant that turns casual visitors into regulars.

Meraki AP When someone has a cafe or restaurant they know will let them get online, they keep coming back.

Plus, a robust Cloud based Wi-Fi system can provide plenty of improvements to how your shop is run, both in front and back of the house.  If customers are coming for the Wi-Fi, they'll be staying longer thanks to improved service.

Major Ways Modern Hospitality WiFi Can Benefit A Restaurant

1 - Fuller houses.

Good WiFi speed encourages visitors to stay longer, and that means more chances to sell drinks and deserts.  Likewise, if a customer knows you've got high-quality WiFi, you'll be on the top of their list when they're in the neighborhood.

It'll also almost always get you more-positive reviews as well, assuming the food and service are equally good.

2 - One-entry ordering systems.

With a cloud POS system, your wait staff can be taking orders on company tablets (or even their own devices) which are immediately sent to the kitchen as soon as they're keyed in.  There's no losing an order in the shuffle, and a clear onscreen GUI will help ensure your staff take the proper order down every time.  

great restaurant wifi
Wiertz Sébastien / Foter / CC BY

3 - Consumer ordering portals.

You could take these a step further, and put an ordering system online, by linking your website to the order system.  Customers could place orders for take-out from their home, with no time-consuming phone calls.  They could even be encouraged to use the system within the restaurant, to place orders without having to flag down wait staff.

4 - Minute-by-minute inventory updates.  

This system can just as easily be linked to your existing inventory system, allowing continual updates throughout the night on your stock.  It knows what goes into each dish, so when the dish is pushed out, the remaining stock can be updated automatically.

This gives your manager the ability to see the current inventory and refrigerator stock instantly, from a smartphone, from anywhere in the restaurant or off-site.

5 - Instant nightly revenue reports.

Likewise, this can be securely connected to your financial system as well, giving the same ability to oversee your take for the night, instantly.  

Plus, when all these systems are linked, it also allows for more-detailed auditing and analysis of your expenditures.  Usage can be tracked down to the individual tomato slice, if you desire.  This can bring significantly increased ability to find cost-savings through ordering optimization, and your manager can access it from any device.

6 - Fun and games.

There's a nearly unlimited number of activities you could set up for your patrons' enjoyment through your high-speed WiFi system, from trivia games to Team Fortress tournaments.  

After all, if your patrons are going to stare at their cell phones while they're eating anyway, why not encourage them to be staring at content you're providing?   Or provide videos to watch, or give access to the in-house music system so patrons can queue up tracks.   These are also excellent opportunities for advertisements or the occasional friendly reminder that a Coke would be really good right now.

All this can add to the experience of being at your table, and give patrons more reason to return.

In short, a robust, modern restaurant WiFi hotspot can quickly pay for itself, and keep bringing dividends - from patron goodwill to much-easier management.  To learn more, contact Hummingbird for a free consultation!

Topics: Hospitality Solutions, Wireless