As restaurateurs know, it’s not enough to be good or even best. To attract diners, a restaurant must be preferred. When diners ask “where should we eat tonight?” it is the preferred dining experience that becomes the destination. A single “no” vote sends the party somewhere else.

In choosing a restaurant, there are many reasons why a “no” vote is cast and business is lost. While some reasons are obvious – menu, service, quality, bad dining experience, and so on – at least one is fairly new. It’s how good is the free WiFi that the restaurant offers patrons.

When customers think about choosing a restaurant, there is more on their minds than just good food. You won’t, for example, find guest WiFi on anyone’s plate, but its availability may help them decide on a more connected dining experience.

Canada’s Lone Star Texas Grill is a restaurant chain that faced the WiFi challenge head-on. The 20-restaurant group had received customer complaints that its existing guest WiFi was both too slow and too hard to access. Which is a way of saying its WiFi and thus its restaurants might not be customer-preferred.

Those complaints impacted how customers perceived the restaurants and even found their way into customers’ online reviews. They convinced restaurant management that having slow and difficult-to-use guest WiFi was almost as bad as having none at all.

The company decided an upgrade was required and after considerable investigation, chose Cloud4Wi as the vendor tasked with making the restaurants’ WiFi a turn-on for customers rather than a challenge to use. The Cloud4Wi Volare platform is a highly flexible, cloud-based platform that sits atop the WiFi access points that customers, such as Lone Star Texas Grill, already have installed.

Key benefits in these upgrading situations are a quick onboarding process for users, cloud-based management across all locations, ability to gather insights into customer behavior and demographics, and smooth implementation of customer market programs and social media.

Interestingly, the restaurant considers understanding the behavior of non-customers as a vital Cloud4Wi feature. This works because the platform can count anonymous foot traffic in front of each restaurant. The ebb and flow of people walking past is compared to actual customer traffic and allows the creation of effective promotions aimed at turning passersby into restaurant patrons. More importantly, this traffic data, collected by Cloud4Wi Volare, provided the hard facts necessary to adjust the restaurants’ hours of operation.

Cloud4Wi has prepared a success story that details Lone Star Texas Grill’s experience with Volare. It is available as a free download.

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