From catching up on emails, or searching for somewhere nearby to grab a good coffee and posting a photo of said coffee on Instagram. To checking out reviews for that restaurant you’ve been meaning to try, navigating your way around a new city or booking a hotel. In an increasingly connected world most of us now expect free Wi-Fi when we’re on the go, it’s the norm, and studies show this is becoming a growing trend within the UK’s hospitality industry.

Despite the growing popularity of ‘no phone zones’ in some venues, having reliable Wi-Fi access appears to be an important factor for many consumers. 87% of diners access the internet while in a restaurant or bar, and 82% of hotel guests care more about Wi-Fi than a quality breakfast or a comfy bed.

For cafés, restaurants and hotels it appears that not only could Wi-Fi impact the chances of a customer returning, but also the amount of money they spend during their visit. If harnessed correctly it can also be used to market your business and build brand awareness. Here we’ll outline the key Wi-Fi trends within hospitality, and explore the possible advantages of embracing them.

As well as giving customers the connectivity they expect, there are a few ways that you can use guest Wi-Fi to your advantage:

Get social

By allowing customers to stay connected you are making it easier for them to post about your business. With 67% of millennials taking photos just of their food, let alone their surroundings or friends, when they dine out, it’s safe to assume that the chances of your business being tagged and shared in posts online are increased by offering good Wi-Fi.

Streamline your client-experience

With the knowledge that you have great connectivity, you may want to explore the possibility of using an app in order to streamline your customer’s journey with you. This could be a simple online check-in for guests at a hotel, a mobile payment system, a loyalty discount or a self-ordering application for diners in a restaurant.

Gather analytics for marketing opportunities

You can choose to ask users to login to your guest Wi-Fi, which means you have the opportunity to gather information about your customers. This could be used to simply add them to your mailing list so that they receive your newsletter, or to send them a personalised voucher to use next time they visit. However you choose to use this data, it means you can quickly and efficiently build up a list of your customers.

Encourage reviews & feedback

Online reviews are a great way to promote a business, and by offering Wi-Fi you can encourage customers to leave you a review or fill out a survey on the spot, before they leave and forget.

There is the added bonus that designated guest Wi-Fi is more secure than having everyone on the same network. If it suits your business then you can manage the speed and usage of individuals, or sell tokens in order to be able to connect. It doesn’t have to be expensive and the benefits usually outweigh the costs. With the imminent introduction of 5G soon to be sweeping the nation, everyone is not only going to be used to the internet being available everywhere, they are also going to expect faster and faster speeds. Now is a great time to explore the best solution for your business. To find out more get in touch for an informal, no obligation chat about how Sensible may be able to help you.

37% of customers choose coffee shops on the availability and quality of free Wi-Fi over the quality of drinks – Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. 69% of Brits work remotely from coffee shops at least twice a week – Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. 60% of diners said being given internet access would increase their loyalty to a restaurant – Purple. 87% of consumers access the internet while in a restaurant or bar – BT . 60% of customers spend more time in an establishment with Wi-Fi, with 50% spending more money – IGR report. 64% of all smartphone owners use mobile payment – . 69% of millennials take a photo of the food when dining at a restaurant – . 65% of guests were online within seven minutes of checking in and on third requested the Wi-Fi password on arrival – Roomzzz . A quarter of respondents said they would use Netflix, Amazon Prime or other online streaming services in their hotel room – Roomzzz . High speed, free Wi-Fi is a major factor to 82% of consumers when picking a hotel in the UK – Statista

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