Are you thinking of opening a prohibition styled speakeasy serving custom-crafted cocktails flavoured with the latest Scottish gins? Or are you starting a pop-up cafe specialising in the latest trend? What about bucking all the hype serving up good old fashioned diner grub? No matter what type of food or drink you plan to serve your customers. There’s going to be one thing that your customers demand as soon as they enter your place: WiFi.
As a matter of fact, a recent survey showed that the most important technology feature for customers is free WiFi. It’s a vital part of their overall experience and can influence their decision to come back or not.
In order to give your customers the best guest experience, you need to get everything right. Including your decor, your staff, your food and, yes, your WiFi. With that in mind, here are our top five tips on how to set up WiFi for your restaurant or pub.
Use Professional WiFi Equipment
You’ve poured your heart and soul into your new business. So are you going to let your customers sign in to the same crappy WiFi router that your internet company gives to pensioners downloading pictures of their grandkids? No. It’s time to put on your big boy pants and pay for a decent router. But buying the best doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need to empty your bank account.
Our top hardware recommendations for seamless integration with Stampede include popular brands like:
- Ubiquiti UniFi
- Cisco Meraki
The standard that WiFi uses for connections is called 802.11, appended with letters to reflect the WiFi generation. For example, when WiFi was first released to the public, way back when in 1999, it was known as 802.a. As of 2022, the most widely used standard is 802.11ax or WiFi 6, coming with an even greater data transfer speed.
But don’t sit around waiting for the latest standard to come out before you purchase your equipment. Since WiFi devices are backwards compatible, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting outpaced by technology.
Big Place? Go Mesh
If you’ve got a large pub or restaurant with lots of hidden nooks and crannies, then you’re going to want to go with a mesh network. The idea behind mesh networks is to provide all-around coverage for your pub or restaurant. Even better it eliminates any WiFi blind spots. A mesh network typically consists of a number of WiFi separate broadcast units. Usually, between two to four, that seamlessly integrate into one network.
Hooking up mesh networks isn’t as difficult as it sounds. The router software usually takes care of the integration for you. Even though you may have up to 4 devices bouncing a signal around your business, customers only have to worry about connecting to a signal network. This article in Tech Advisor is a quick read and gives you a nice overview on some of the best mesh routers out there.
Here’s a case study we did with Bar Tonic, one of our customers who rely on a good WiFi signal due to their special location.
Setup a Captive Portal
Alright, so you’ve got your network all set up and broadcasting. You’re getting a great signal from every location in your place of business. Even in the most distant bathroom stall. Now all you need to do is write up your network password on all the walls so your customers can connect, right? WRONG.
You’ve just spent some bucks paying for a professional WiFi network for your business. So why give it away for free? By using a software product like Stampede, you can set up what is known as a Captive Portal, to give your customers access to your shiny new WiFi network.
Here’s how it works: After a customer connects, they’re prompted to register for your network with their email address or using their social media account. Once they’ve verified their email, they’re logged in. No passwords to remember and no chalkboards on the wall. Just a much smoother customer WiFi experience.
The other cool part about a captive network is that it will automatically re-connect your customer next time they pay you a visit. No more logging in! And the best part – at least for your business? You now have your customer’s email address that (with their permission, of course) you can use for our next tip – automated marketing.
Use Automated Marketing
You’re providing free WiFi for your customers and, in return, you’re getting their data. So use it! When you have a customer login to your WiFi with Stampede, in addition to an email address, you can ask for other details on the Captive Portal login screen. Name, age, gender – anything you can think of. You can even add custom questions. This is a great place to ask your customer opinions about new menu items or specials you’re thinking about offering. And not to forget about the fact that you can customise the log-in screen to your own branding.
Once registered, you can import your customers’ email into mailing list software like Mailchimp. Use software like Zapier to do thousands of different tasks, like importing emails into a Google Docs spreadsheet.
Or, you can save time and have all your data conveniently in one place with Stampede Marketing. Automated text or SMS messages are a great tool for personalised marketing campaigns to bring customers back. Want to reward loyal customers? Send them a message with a voucher for a dessert on their third visit. Haven’t seen a customer in a while and want to get them back? Drop ’em a coupon for a free drink – who can resist that?
So you’ve got an awesome WiFi network with a Cative Portal set up in your pub or restaurant and your customers are loving it. Now it’s time to spread the word! Put your Instagram, Facebook and TikTok handles EVERYWHERE – menus, the walls, even on your receipts. Encourage your customers to share their experience and, more importantly, their photos.
Take it one step further and use automated marketing to gather customer feedback with ease. Reviews help you build trust and attract new customers. With Stampede Reviews you can send an automated message after your customers have left the venue and ask them to leave you a review and write about their experience. What’s even better, you can access all major review platforms (Tripadvisor, Facebook and Google) from one dashboard, allowing for a much easier reputation management.
Awesome WiFi in Your Restaurant or Pub Set Up
Now you’ve got awesome WiFi that your customers love. They’re spreading the word about you all over social media and you’re keeping them loyal with automated marketing. That wasn’t so hard now, was it?
So, if you’re thinking about taking the plunge and opening up the restaurant or pub of your dreams, and see the importance of offering awesome WiFi. Why not give us a try? Get in touch to find out how this could easily be implemented at your venue.