wifi marketing for restaurants

What is WiFi Marketing for restaurants and how can it help your business? Simply put, it entails offering free WIFI to your restaurant customers to your advantage. Now, you might be inclined to believe that doing so is a waste of money. However, you should know that over 96% of consumers actually prefer businesses that offer them free Wi-Fi; 50% of customers also spend more money in locations that provide them with free WIFI. And the crazy part is that restaurant owners can leverage & hone the power of guest WIFI marketing in a multitude of ways.

What is WIFI marketing and How does it work?

Customers are shown a page or portal that will grant them with free WIFI provided they sign up with their email address, or social media accounts. Or maybe simply liking your Facebook page. WIFI marketing entails using your guest WIFI access points to gather data about your customers and create their digital profiles. This will allow you to get a better grasp of your customers’ buying behavior and find out more about:

  • who visits your restaurant
  • how often they come back (their loyalty levels)
  • how long they stay (their dwell time)
  • what location they visit
  • what offers are sent to them and the ones they redeem
  • and much more

Benefits of using WiFi marketing for restaurants

Create a database of customer data

Capturing emails on WIFI means that, in most cases, your customers get WiFi access in exchange for their email addresses. This will help build a substantially valuable customer database that can be used overtime to best market your restaurant to them and increase your sales. You can use this data can to build automated email marketing campaigns presenting them with free delivery, free appetizers on location or any other types of discounts and promos.

wifi marketing for restaurants enables you to make the best use of email marketing

Use guest behavioral data to send email promos that deliver results

You can use data points like first visit date, visit frequency and most recent visit date to create targeted email campaigns.

For instance, you can create automated email campaigns containing coupons or discounts

  • to new or returning customers, as soon as they enter your premises – to stimulate them into ordering more
  • to inactive customers (who haven’t come back for more than 30 days) and increase your customer retention rate

Increase future sales by using the Footfall Counting and Dwell Time

This involves the aggregation of anonymised data to provide insights into general guest behavior. As WiFi is always active on a guest’s smartphone, there will always be a constant communication with the surrounding devices. This allows for the analysis of guest behavior, in an anonymous way, that can provide you with useful info like new versus returning users or customer dwell time.

How can you use this to your advantage? For instance, if your customers spend little time in your restaurant, then it might be worth looking into that. It might be because they’re missing entertainment. You might try pumping up the music volume for a while – this has been shown to lead to an increased beer consumption.

This application shows you can users move through a venue. Consider a shopping centre, where various WiFi access points could track a user moving from one to the other. This would allow a map to be generated showing customer movement activity and heatmaps so that venues could better understand how visitors move around their stores.

In your restaurant, for instance, you could have a special spot where people might take photos of themselves, and see how much time they spend there, or how often they get back to that location. In addition, you could stimulate them into posting pictures of themselves on social media and using your restaurant brand hashtag. That’s free publicity at its best.

Increase your online exposure

Similar to capturing email on WiFi registration, a social check in trades free WiFi for a virtual check in by the user. While in theory being a great way of advertising your venue on social, many people are resistant to being forced to check in for free WiFi. Another way is to offer a reward for the user checking in.

Get more and better online reviews

This is also one of the best applications of data in the WiFi marketing perspective. Using the verified email data collected at WiFi sign in, a venue can send a request to that user once they leave the venue to leave a review on one of the popular review platforms. For example, if you wanted to get more Google reviews or more TripAdvisor Reviews then you could push all of your WiFi users towards these platforms to get more exposure.

WiFi Marketing is an exciting space and will continue to develop. You will need to be very mindful of privacy, and make sure that you have all the necessary consumer protections in place. In Europe, for example, this means that you will need to comply with GDPR legislation. In general, online stores are away ahead in this space, so hospitality businesses have a long way to go to catch up. However, in time, these tools will be every bit as valuable as the online versions. Bottom line, using WIFI marketing for restaurants can help you improve customer loyalty and even have them spend more money.

photo of GloriaFood blog writer Andreea Dobrila
Andreea Dobrila

Andreea Dobrila is a proven web copywriter & marketing strategist. She pushes online restaurants on the fast-track to quickly growing their online sales. Win more business by using her bulletproof tips & secrets.

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