Wi-fi has been on my mind a lot, not only because I believe that it can be very beneficial for a fast or casual dining restaurant, but also because of the lack of wi-fi I’ve experienced in many restaurants when I needed it.

I know what it feels like when the answer to “Do you have wi-fi?”  is “No”, or the wi-fi is slow, out of order or just unusable.

It’s even more so in our country, South Africa, where many restaurants have not adopted offering any form of wi-fi to their guests. I think the biggest reason for this is that many restaurant owners and operators still don’t get the insane benefits of having wi-fi in their restaurant.

Humans want to use the internet, because in our world today, being connected digitally with what’s around us, is one of our highest priorities.

We update our Facebook status, we ‘check in’ at and like the pages of places we visit. We share our food and our drinks with everyone on Instagram. WhatsApp connects us to friends and business with instant messages and group chats. We use our phones to listen to Apple music; we check our emails, and we read the news on an app.

These are the types of things your guests would love to do at your place, as to manage high mobile tariffs when they’re on the move. This connection is what drives the need for wi-fi for everyone, from students, millennials to business professionals and even grandma’s. And if you can make that easy for them, they’ll remember you for it.

I decided to compile a short list of benefits from offering wi-fi in your restaurant.

In a nutshell, my advice is, connect your guests to their digital world, and they’ll feel more connected to your business and more inclined to engage with you digitally as well.
Drive Sales

With apps like Tripadvisor, Zomato and even Facebook’s Nearby search people have more choices of restaurants than ever before. Having wi-fi can many times be a deciding factor.

Unlock new customer base

By adding free wi-fi to the amenities you offer, you might just unlock a new client-base, like students or professionals.

Keep guests for longer

You’ll find that guests might just have that extra cup of coffee after breakfast if they’re connected and engaged and can do something like checking their e-mails or their banking.

Attract groups

People need to connect at business meetings, student meetings and even if they’re a group of tourists looking to dine. A lot of the time these larger groups demand a wi-fi service.

Drive your Social Media Channels & Campaigns.

I think the most exciting part of offering an excellent, free wi-fi service at your restaurant is that you can use it to your advantage. There are so many ways that you can integrate your online marketing with your free wi-fi! It’s simply about how creative you can be. When you’re just starting out, you can inform guests of your social media platforms when you give them access to your wi-fi, and later you can grow this engagement to “check in & win” competitions.

I hope we’ve been able to excite you as much about wi-fi and connecting your guests as we are. Take advantage of this connection craze from today and set up a wi-fi service, everyone will love you for it!