Why you need a good wireless network:
Wireless networking is becoming more and more vital to running your business as new technology solutions become the norm. Whether you’re providing customers with a wireless hotspot, taking advantage of bring your own device (BYOD) solutions, or utilizing mobility tools to run your business, a reliable and secure wireless connection is a necessary foundation for success.
Why you want your customers to have wireless:
Ensuring your customers have reliable wireless access is valuable for marketing your restaurant and for streamlining operations. Note, that it’s important for your business’ and customers security that you separate the customer use network form your business operation network.
Not only does giving your patrons good wireless access make them happy customers, but it also turns them into marketing tools. Especially in the case of bars, nightclubs, and quick service establishments that are attracting a young and wired customer base, those customers are likely to be actively promoting your establishment to their social network in real time, if you let them. They may use a check in app to tell people where they are or post a status update that reports their current location, either way your business is getting free, credible exposure. If you serve great looking food or drinks, your customers may even be taking pictures of their meals and posting them to their Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest page.
Cardless loyalty programs are another application for a customer accessible wireless network. These programs allow the cashier to collect a mobile phone number to sign up patrons for your loyalty program and then send a text that directs customers to a page where they fill in the rest of their information themselves. Giving customers access to fast reliable wireless helps you collect this information before the customer leaves the premises. This gives you the opportunity to send them an instantly redeemable coupon to encourage them to order another drink or dessert right away, thus increasing sales and average checks.
BYOD frequently refers to a business’ employees using their own mobile phones or mobile devices at work but it’s also a trend that restaurateurs can take advantage of to empower your customers, cut costs, and streamline operations.
Your patrons typically have their own mobile devices with them at your restaurant. Leveraging the wireless devices that are already in your store helps reduce the investment needed to speed service and improve the customer experience. Many restaurants and bars now have their own apps that customers can download and use to put themselves on waitlists, look at menu items, ingredients, or calorie information, place orders, and pay tabs from their own wireless device.
Why the network matters:
To take advantage of these exciting uses for a customer accessible wireless network however, that network has to be fast and reliable. A slow wireless network will turn a powerful business opportunity into a source of frustration for customers. Whether it’s slow loading times for apps, or worse yet, dropped orders or reservations, an unreliable wireless network can turn great technology into a nightmare.
Other important uses for a wireless network:
Even if you don’t want to give your customers access to wireless there are valuable business tools for your staff that will depend on a reliable network. A mobile pos system is an example of a tool that is proven to increase revenue, cut costs, and boost your bottom line that depends on a reliable network connection. Wireless printers, kitchen display systems, and digital signage are other tools enhanced by good wireless.
How to ensure you have a good wireless network:
From the placement of access points, to the layout of your restaurant, to the number of competing networks in your area, countless factors can affect your wireless network’s speed and reliability, some of which may be out of your control. Because your networks reliability is a critical component for so many other valuable tools, partnering with a wireless networking specialist may be the best investment you ever make. Partner with someone who understands your business and has intimate knowledge of the wireless tools you are going to use to ensure that problems are anticipated and mitigated before they occur.
Recognizing the importance of this often overlooked business component is the first step to getting your business ready to take advantage of today’s technology.