Marketing Tips, Restaurant Stories, Social Media, technology

7 HUGE Ways Your Business Can Benefit from Offering Free Wi-Fi

If you own a restaurant or small business in 2018, you know by now that technology can help you out tremendously. Sure—we did just fine without it 20 years ago, but today, outdated or a total lack of technology can put your business at risk of several problems, including slow operations and unhappy customers. In fact, 73% of diners today agree that technology enhances their guest experience. One of the most important tools aiding in that statistic? Wi-Fi. It’s no secret that free Wi-Fi has made its way into many local restaurants, but what you might not be aware of is the new set of consumer standards that has come along with it.

You might not believe it’s necessary to offer Wi-Fi in your establishment, but keep in mind that your customers might think otherwise. Read on to see how offering free Wi-Fi can not only make your customers happy, but can also benefit your business as a whole.

Already offer free Wi-Fi? Click here to see if you’re using it to your business’ full advantage.

First and foremost, it can earn you more money

According to a study conducted by Small Business Trends, 62% of small businesses saw an increase in the amount of time customers spent in their establishment once free Wi-Fi was implemented. And half of those businesses reported customers spending more money too. It’s not hard to believe that more time spent equals more money spent as well.

It can attract more customers

In most areas of the country, consumers are expecting free Wi-Fi, so why not give ‘em what they want? If you can’t deliver, it’s very possible that they’ll move on to your competitor across the street who does have Wi-Fi. Simply putting up a sidewalk sign letting people know that you have free Wi-Fi is enough to grab people’s attention. Suddenly, your business becomes an attractive spot for people to get work done or conduct casual meetings with co-workers.

It can lead to free promotion of your business

 Offering free Wi-Fi makes it possible for your customers to access the internet immediately—which means they’ll be able to post a picture of their awesome looking meal to Instagram before it’s forgotten about by the time they get home. Or, they’ll be able to share their 5-star experience with the community on Yelp or TripAdvisor right away.

It can make your guests more comfortable

In the US, our values are changing—and so are our eating habits. As we become more work-oriented and less people-oriented, more and more of us are dining alone. Although it’s slowly becoming the norm, the stigma attached to dining alone still exists. Allowing guests to use your free Wi-Fi makes it possible for those who are dining solo to feel a bit more at home by connecting with friends online via social media.

Already offering free Wi-Fi?

If your business is already offering free Wi-Fi, how is it benefitting you so far? If you’ve noticed an increase in customers and sales, you’re definitely on the right track, but there is actually a lot more that your Wi-Fi can be doing for you. Take a look at the checklist below to see if you’re truly using your Wi-Fi to your business’ advantage.

❏   Are you receiving insight into your business practices?

When paired with a CONNECT router, your router can actually provide you with information about your business that you might not already be aware of. For example, find out which days the most people are connecting to your network to see which of your daily specials are popular, and which ones can use some updating. Or, use the data to see which times of day are dead, and run a promotion to get more people in the door during that time slot (i.e. 2 for 1 drinks from 2 – 4 pm on Tuesdays).

❏   Are you growing your mailing list?

Consider using WiFi Connect, which will prompt guests to connect to your network using their social media login or their email address, and will have them agree to receive future emails from you in return. It’s one of the fastest and most effective ways to collect email addresses.

❏   Are you marketing to your guests based on tracked behaviors?

Through Wi-Fi Connect, you’re able to track who’s connecting to your Wi-Fi and how often they visit you. Encourage people to return to your establishment by running a promotion for loyal customers (i.e. a free dessert on your 5th visit/network connection). This tool is invaluable because it can help you turn ordinary guests into loyal customers.


So, are you using Wi-Fi to its greatest potential? Get in touch with us to change the way you market to your customers and to start growing your customer base. If your business runs any Wi-Fi based promotions or has any techniques for smarter marketing through Wi-Fi, we’d love to hear them! Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram today.

Holiday Marketing, Marketing Tips, Restaurant Stories, Social Media

St Patrick’s Day: Your Pot of Gold This Month

Irish or not, millions of people from dozens of cities around the United Sates look forward to parades, parties, and rivers dyed green in honor of Saint Patrick each year. The tradition has come a long way since it was first brought to the states by Irish immigrants back in the 19th century. In the US today, it’s more of a celebration of Irish Pride—and a huge one at that; more people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the United States than there are people in Ireland! As you might have guessed, restaurants and bars benefit hugely as a result.

For the restaurant industry, the timing of St. Patrick’s Day is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s the boost in sales many have been looking for after weeks of slow nights following the holidays and winter snow storms. With a little planning, lots of hyping on social media, and a bit of Irish luck, March 17th has the potential to be a great success for your business.

Get In On the Action

Is there a parade or festival happening in your town or somewhere nearby? Events like these are wonderful for the community, but do have the potential to prevent people from visiting you. Think about setting up a food truck/stand in a prime location, so that you can reach your customers even if they’re not physically in your establishment. The chances are pretty great that you’ll attract some new customers this way too! If you don’t sell food, then coffee, hot chocolate, or your branded apparel will all work too.

Feature Traditional Irish Foods

In many parts of the country, this is the only time of year that true Irish fare is offered in restaurants. Whether you’re Irish or not, there’s a good chance you’ll go for the Corned Beef & Cabbage over the ordinary cheeseburger on St. Patrick’s Day. Consider adding Shepherd’s Pie, Irish Soda Bread, Potato Soup, and other well sought-after items to your menu for the week. If your business has a specialty or a best seller, fusing your own creative take with a classic is a great idea also. Ice cream shops, start testing out your Irish Coffee Ice Cream!

Does your establishment already serve an Irish specialty regularly? We see a great opportunity to partner with another local business here. Having another business feature your dish is an excellent way to gain more exposure—especially if it’s advertised on their social media as well. In return, you can serve their signature cocktail or famous dessert.

Get Creative with Your Specials & Events

There will most likely be a lot of options for places to go within your community, so making your business stand out is key. The possibilities are endless for promotional ideas, but keep your audience in mind when planning. Depending on your type of establishment, consider the ideas below:

  • Irish themed trivia or karaoke night
  • Whiskey tasting
  • Costume contest
  • Live Irish music
  • Sponsor events such as free meals for designated drivers and free services to arrange rides for people under the influence
  • Plan a bar crawl with businesses next to yours or nearby

Remember, offering a discount or giving something away is not a loss. Think about promotions or deals you can implement that will keep customers thinking of you long after St. Patrick’s Day is over. For example, consider a “Luck of the Irish” promo, in which customers are randomly chosen to receive a gift card or discount towards their next visit. You can also offer a discount on the purchase of three items or run a buy-two-get-the-third-free promotion as per the three leaves of a shamrock.

Think Decor

Last but not least, all great celebrations need decorations. You don’t have to go too crazy; think gold and green balloons, or green-decorated menus or inserts for your specials. If you can’t decorate the space you have, use your food and drinks!  Try a fun twist on whiskey by making it green with lime and ginger ale, or maybe offer a special cucumber martini with mint, or honeydew martini with vodka, Midori and triple sec. If you don’t serve alcohol, then try something like green desserts, bagels, or muffins.


However you choose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at your establishment, don’t forget to use social media and email marketing to get the word out. In a world where face-to-face interactions are becoming few and far between, online outlets are your best bet for reaching the most people. Today’s technology makes it easy to market to your guests, but don’t let this be what stops you if you struggle—get in touch with us for help, and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter or follow this blog for more tips and ideas to come.

Marketing Tips

Email Marketing Is Far From Dead — Just Don’t Kill It With These Common Mistakes…

1.) Don’t SPAM your audience.

78% of consumers have unsubscribed from emails because a brand was sending too many emails. (HubSpot, 2016)

How many times do you bypass emails in your inbox because you see the same sender pitching deals and promotions day after day after day? Less is more when it comes to reaching out to your customers. Yes, there are exceptions to this rule, perhaps when you would like to promote daily specials to your followers — but this has still been proven to work best when sent on a weekly basis, and then additionally encouraging your audience to follow you on social media for daily updates and engagement.

2.) Keep it simple.

As the number of images in an email increases, the clickthrough rate of the email tends to decrease. (HubSpot, 2014)

Get to the point. Too many words, a multitude of buttons and a collage of pictures will only lessen the impact and muddle the message you are trying to communicate. Plus, most emails are read on mobile devices, so you want to make sure you provide a visually clear and straightforward message, which will cause your readers to click on and read more!

3.) Make it personal.

Brands that personalize promotional marketing emails experience 27% higher unique click rates and 11% higher open rates than those that do not personalize. (Source: Experian, 2016)

Don’t make your emails seem too ‘spammy’. In other words, relate to your customers. You know what they want, so talk to them as if they were already in your restaurant or business, and add that personal touch to your email campaigns. For example, sending them emails on their birthday to perhaps offer a free dessert or drink, will let them know you value them as a customer — and they deserve to be celebrated!

4.) People are listening!

The number of e-mail users in the US is projected to grow to 244.5 million by the end of 2017. That number is forecast to grow to 254.7 million by 2020. (Source: Statista, 2016)

It’s amazing when you hear from some experts that email marketing is dead. There is no argument that social media is a necessary tool to market your business, and email provides an outlet to not only specifically target your selected audience, but as a tool to track, inform, and educate your customers in a way that puts the information directly at their fingertips — to read when they have time.

5.) Know that it takes work, in order to work.

Constant Contact surveyed small business owners and found that 49% do not use email marketing data to assist with their email marketing campaigns because they do not know where to begin. (Source: Constant Contact, 2016)

As mentioned above, with email marketing, you can track your audience’s behavior. You can see who has opened your emails, who has clicked into them, and what they clicked on. From here you can target advertising to those groups, resulting in a MUCH bigger potential for converting that email subscriber into a customer, or prompting them to revisit you. So take your time, create thoughtful and impactful campaigns which will help build brand awareness and a larger customer base – but know this takes time and effort, and to ask for help when needed. Marketing effectively is crucial to your business!