Wifi marketing is a digital marketing technique that benefits both restaurants and guests. By offering free wifi to patrons in exchange for a little information, you create a magical connection that enhances the customer experience and benefits your advertising processes.
By taking advantage of a “captive portal,” you can invite diners to take various actions, such as supporting you with a “like,” leaving a review, or even answering surveys – the benefits are as obvious as the aroma of a freshly served meal!
Not surprisingly, this strategy is becoming increasingly popular in the restaurant industry. So get ready to enjoy wifi marketing in all its glory.
What is Wi-Fi marketing?
Wifi marketing is a way to use your restaurant’s wifi in a way that benefits both you and your customers. This strategy consists of offering free Wi-Fi to your customers, but in exchange, they give you their information so that you can interact with them in a variety of ways.
This technique allows you to enhance your customers’ experience by giving them a free Internet connection, and they give you the ability to stay in touch by capturing their data.
This works through a captive portal, a web page that asks you to perform some kind of action to get the Internet connection. Think about it: What kind of action can you use in this strategy?
Here are some ideas:
- Follow you on social networks.
- Give your email or phone number.
- Leave a positive review on Google, TripAdvisor, or Yelp.
- Watch a video ad.
- Answer a survey.
Really, there are many ideas, and depending on the state of your restaurant, you may use one instead of another. Either way, the benefits are clear.
Imagine a case like this:
Jhon arrives with his wife, and as he sits down at his table in your restaurant, the waiter appears, says good evening, and offers him the menu. Upon opening it, Jhon notices that there is a QR code in the bottom right corner that says “free wifi”.
Jhon decides to order, orders food and drink, and while waiting, scans the QR code, which takes him to a welcome page with a thank you message, and at the same time asks for his email to give him access to the restaurant’s wifi. Without a problem, he chooses to leave his email and enjoy free Internet access while waiting for his meal.
But the story doesn’t end there. Weeks go by, and John hasn’t been to the restaurant, so you send him an email with the latest news, specials, and dishes at your restaurant. He clicks the reservation button, and your restaurant and John come back.
You can multiply this story by all the customers who access your restaurant’s Wi-Fi connection. As you can modify it, instead of an email, it can be a phone number, a review on Google or TripAdvisor, a follower on social networks, etc. Anything you find interesting and feasible.
What are the Benefits of Free Wi-fi for Restaurants?
This digital marketing strategy is one of the best for restaurants. Not only because it’s a way to capitalize on something you’re already doing, but also because it allows your customers to have a greater connection with you, with your offers, and with you in different media.
Some benefits for restaurants:
- It allows you to build long-term relationships with your customers.
- It ensures that your visitors have a good experience during their stay at the restaurant.
- You can get to know your customers better to provide them with better service.
- You can double your sales while people enjoy the Wifi access.
- You have the possibility to exchange your Wifi access for almost anything you are interested in the digital environment (think).
On the other hand, if you don’t use your wifi properly, or worse, don’t offer it at all, you may be missing a golden opportunity to increase your restaurant’s sales.
Disadvantages Of Not Offering Wi-Fi In Your Restaurant
On the other hand, according to research conducted by Resear Gate, here are some things that might be affecting you if you don’t offer free wifi in your restaurant yet:
- A strong perception that you’re stuck in antiquity or the caveman era.
- You are limiting the convenience and options available to customers over the phone.
- You get less dwell time, as many stay longer just to connect to the Internet (which doubles your sales).
- Your competition will provide better service by offering what you do not, and your customers will prefer them.
- You stop acquiring benefits that would be more expensive and difficult to acquire by other means.
So, there really are positive and negative reasons to use free Wi-Fi. But if you want to get more out of it and generate business with your wifi, it will be necessary to apply wifi marketing.
And here are some very interesting reasons.
7 Reasons to Use Wifi Marketing in Your Restaurant
You may be doing some research. We have already given you the information you need to consider this idea of wifi marketing for restaurants as interesting.
However, we are going to give you some additional reasons to use wifi marketing in your own restaurant:
1. Collect data from your customers
Imagine if you had to think about what music to play in your restaurant, how would you know what kind of music your customers like best? Or that you need to consider whether you cater to a younger or more mature audience, whether they prefer to pay by card or app, or which dish is preferred by gender or age, and so on.
What do you need to know about your customers and how can this information change your business?
Simple: apply Wifi Marketing to your restaurant, add a survey about what you want to know from your customers, and you will get the answers you want. Plus, you can capture the lead in the process, which is related to the second reason.
2. Gain direct contact with your customer.
Don’t let your last contact with your customer be paying the bill or tipping the waiter.
When you capture your customer’s email address, they can hear from you again. You can remind them that you exist, give them information about your promotions, invite them to visit you, give them gifts (discount coupons, gift cards, a coffee, a free meal or drink, etc.), inform them about your new dishes or invite them to an event you are planning.
In short, you can do email marketing for restaurants and increase your sales easily, basically at a very low cost.
3. Reduce your advertising costs
If you use traditional advertising platforms, you know that their costs are increasing. In short, the cost of advertising in 2023 and beyond will be higher and higher.
Does this mean that online advertising should be abandoned altogether?
Not at all. What it does mean is that it will be increasingly necessary to diversify strategies so that the budget is not entirely consumed by advertising.
By acquiring quality leads through the wifi marketing strategy, you can create a new impact and sell them your dishes a second, third and even fourth time at a relatively low cost.
This means that when you need to reach a certain amount in your campaigns, the leads will pleasantly lower your prices to get results and achieve your goals.
4. You increase sales
But it’s not just about reducing costs, it’s about increasing profits. In fact, there are several reasons why this strategy is a real winner when it comes to increasing sales:
- Email marketing has a higher conversion rate.
- A customer who already knows you is more likely to buy from you.
- You reach a large, qualified audience at a minimal cost.
- The return on investment is better than social media advertising.
- It gives a more personalized experience to your customers.
Therefore, by acquiring the data or some means of contact with a person who has already bought from you, tasted your food and enjoyed your service, you have more sales and recurring sales.
5. You position your brand
You can also position your brand with other integrated strategies. How do you do that? Some ideas:
- Make them share the moment on social networks.
- Invite them to leave a positive review (there are several strategies for this).
- Through “word of mouth” as a restaurant with excellent service.
- Invite them to visit your website and read your blog.
- Tell them a story that connects with them personally.
The rest is up to your creative or the marketing agency you hire (like SMG Creativos, for example). But I think you get the idea.
6. Improve your customer experience
It is estimated that businesses with free Wi-Fi keep customers longer. Think about it: some take the opportunity to watch their favorite show, others need a connection to stay on top of their work, and still others just want to store some data.
7. Loyalty to your customers
By offering free Wi-Fi, you are giving them an extra reason to come back to your restaurant. Not only that, but you can also keep them up to date on your new projects, events and offers that may be of interest to them.
Thus, as you accumulate points, customers begin to see you as much more than a restaurant they visited once, they begin to see you as their favorite restaurant and even their favorite restaurant. Therefore, you will always have these customers with you, or at least for a long time.
How do you use wifi marketing in a restaurant?
This all sounds great, but how do you put it into practice? With three simple steps, you can make a real difference in your restaurant:
Hire a wifi marketing service provider.
There are several companies that provide this service through specialized software that gives you vital data and makes your job much easier. Some of these platforms include the following:
Here is a comparison chart to help you consider the characteristics of each of these platforms, their specialization, price, and other relevant data:
Give your customers peace of mind
Keep in mind that offering free Wi-Fi, even if you’re not using it as a marketing tool, introduces a level of digital insecurity. According to an article published by Forbes, 4 out of 10 people have had their personal information compromised because of public Wi-Fi. For moral and even self-interest reasons, providing a secure connection is extremely important.
You don’t want your customers to associate your restaurant with malicious hacking or cyber insecurity.
To do this, you need to adhere to a number of security protocols, usually provided by the wifi marketing services discussed above.
Develop a strategy based on your restaurant’s needs
At this point, you may want to get some advice or do the work yourself. If you decide to do it yourself, make sure you do a good analysis of what your restaurant needs:
- Do you need more reviews on Google Maps?
- Do you need more social followers?
- Do you need traffic to your website?
- Do you need contact with your customers (email, phone, WhatsApp, etc.)?
- Do you need them to watch a promotional video?
- Do you need them to buy something?
- Do you need them to recommend you to their friends?
It’s important to be strategic about your priorities as you grow your restaurant. Consider your goals, objectives and needs and do what works best for you.
If you’re not sure how to do all this, you can schedule a meeting with us to help you get your restaurant digital marketing strategy on track. This way, we can analyze your digital situation, evaluate your goals, and provide you with better guidance.
Interested? Contact us to schedule a meeting.
3 successful examples of wifi marketing in restaurants
Finally, to show you that this is not just theory, here are three success stories that have been used by different wifi marketing providers to achieve excellent results:
1. The Prince Edward, London
The Prince Edward Restaurant in London uses Zenreach’s service to collect customer contact data, segment them according to their profile and behavior, and send them personalized offers and promotions. After each campaign, they analyze and improve the next one.
Thanks to this solution, the restaurant has increased its customer return rate by 65%, its email open rate by 40%, and its conversion rate by 10%.
2. The Purple Pig, Chicago
The Purple Pig restaurant in Chicago uses the Socialwifi service to provide social wifi to its customers, connecting them to their social networks and using it to gather demographic and interest data, increase social network followers and reviews, send out satisfaction surveys, and track performance.
Through this strategy, the restaurant has achieved more than 10,000 wifi connections, more than 3,000 followers on Facebook, and more than 1,000 positive reviews on TripAdvisor.
3. The Local, Naples FL
The Local restaurant in Naples, Florida, uses the GoZone WiFi service to offer free WiFi to its customers and use it for marketing, data collection, sending personalized emails, soliciting online reviews, creating a personalized WiFi connection page, and analyzing traffic and customer behavior.
Thanks to this platform, the restaurant has increased its database by 400%, its online reputation by 50%, and its sales by 20%.
As we have already mentioned, wifi marketing for restaurants offers numerous benefits, such as building long-term relationships with customers, ensuring a good experience during their stay, getting to know customers better, and doubling sales while they enjoy free wifi.
On the other hand, not offering wifi or misusing it can affect customer perception, limit customer choice, decrease dwell time and give competitors an advantage. So it is important that you take advantage of this strategy to increase sales and build customer loyalty.
If you want to get more out of your free Wi-Fi and use it strategically to grow your restaurant. Click here to contact us to talk about what we can do for you.