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5 Ways WiFi Gives Your Restaurant an Advantage
By Chelsea Phelps

Wi-Fi has grown immensely in popularity over the last few years, and customers have come to expect Wi-Fi to be available in all service establishments. This is especially true for restaurants. The reasons to offer Wi-Fi are simple: People appreciate you for it and will likely spend more money, and it is a great way to welcome your customers. More than ever, restaurant owners are turning to managed Wi-Fi hotspot solutions to provide their restaurant with that competitive edge and appease their customers. Here's why:

1. Network Isolation - Users are isolated on their own segment, so there is no routing between users. Restaurant owners may also choose to have a secure private network for the owner's exclusive use.

2. CALEA Compliance - This federal law authorizes law enforcement agencies to intercept communications transacted over the Internet and requires Wi-Fi providers to maintain systems that enable law enforcement agencies to perform surveillance functions. Noncompliance can cost you up to $10,000 a day in fines. Only managed hotspot providers can provide this compliance, and not being CALEA compliant is certainly not worth losing your restaurant over.

3. Technical Support - Good hotspot providers will provide experienced 24/7 technical support to the restaurant. When you are running a restaurant, you do not have time to constantly monitor your Wi-Fi hotspot. The hotspot managers will do this for you.

4. Customized User Portal Page - Display a custom user portal page that includes your restaurant's logo and an advertisement for your own self-promotion. On the portal page before using the Internet, users must agree to indemnify you from their actions on the Internet. This releases you from potential liability that users might create while using the Internet connection in your restaurant.

5. Usage Reports - Good hotspot management companies will allow you to get statistics on the number of users, duration of use, and more through your secure online management portal.

"Open Internet access is a feature people tend to find appealing since many of the mobile gadgets produced today are designed to be Wi-Fi enabled. Businesses have rapidly realized the potential market appeal of society's desire to be constantly connected and have been integrating ways to use wireless in their marketing strategies. Many companies have found including wireless as a promotional effort is a successful way to entice consumers, and marketers can effectively boost the business through offering free Wi-Fi." -Leigh Goessl, www.helium.com

Wi-Fi is not only a smart, strategic addition to restaurants and cafes, but it is expected to be there by customers. More and more restaurants are realizing this and adding managed Wi-Fi hotspots to please their customers.



Chelsea Phelps is the Director of Marketing and Sales for GoWifi, a leading national provider of wifi hotspots to restaurants and retailers.



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