10 International Coffee Shop Chains With Free Wi-Fi You Can Take Inspiration From

Management 17 minute read 15th July 2022

Would you like your coffee shop to offer your customers something extra? Take inspiration from 10 international coffee chains that provide free Wi-Fi to their guests.

It is expected that the number of public Wi-Fi hotspots will grow to 628 million worldwide in 2023. With that amount of free wireless connections available, you can be sure to find a spot around the corner. Though, not all of them will offer you a proper cup of Joe.

So, if you like to boost the productivity of your customers with some caffeine, while they work online, here’s a list of the 10 best worldwide coffee shops with free Wi-Fi.

1. Starbucks

Starbucks is the world’s largest coffee house chain, founded in 1971 in Seattle, US. As of 1986 the amount of franchises expanded quickly, first across Seattle and soon after across the West Coast of the United States. In 1996 the first international location was opened in Tokyo, Japan. Quickly after that, more locations were opened all over the world. Nowadays, Starbucks counts almost 34,000 locations in more than 80 countries worldwide. Most of their coffee shops provide you with free Wi-Fi.

The multinational chain actually started out as a shop, selling coffee beans. When the new founder Howard Schultz went on a business trip to Italy, he decided to convert the store into a coffee shop, serving espresso-based drinks. Today, Starbucks offers hot and cold coffee drinks, as well as teas, juices and Frappuccino beverages. In most stores you can also find pastries, snacks and even official merchandise.

Starbucks contributes to an environmentally friendly environment. A large part of their coffee grounds is recycled, they banned plastic straws and customers that bring their own reusable coffee cups receive a discount. Also, most of their coffee is fair trade. The quality coffee chain offers great seats and welcomes remote workers.

2. Costa Coffee

Costa Coffee was founded in 1971 in London, United Kingdom. They are the largest coffee chain in the UK. In 1999 Costa Coffee opened their first international coffee shop, in the United Arab Emirates. Since then, they have opened over 1,400 stores outside the UK, in 32 countries worldwide.

The international coffee chain was the first coffee shop worldwide to start delivering coffee with drones. Their first coffee-copter was launched in 2017 in Dubai, after 82% of customers said they would agree to having a drone deliver their food and beverages.

In 2019 Costa Coffee was sold to the Coca-Cola Company, keeping the Costa Coffee name. In 2020 Costa made a deal with three chocolate brands: Quality Street, After Eight and Terry’s. As a result, they now sell limited-edition drinks during Christmas.

At Costa Coffee you get hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, cakes and pastries, and snacks. The drinks, snacks and the fact that most of their coffee shops come with free Wi-Fi will set you up for a day of browsing.

3. Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts is one of the oldest coffee chains on this list. The company was founded in 1950 in Massachusetts, United States. The first franchise opened in 1955 and only 10 years later the number of Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants had grown to over a 100 coffee shops in the United States. Today, the coffee chain has stores all over the world. In total, they have approximately 13,000 coffee shops in more than 40 countries.

Although their name suggests that Dunkin’ Donuts is mainly a place to get donuts, they have always been a coffee house. The company actually started under the name Open Kettle, but changed their name in the first 2 years of operation, after discussions with company executives. They believed coffee and donuts were the two most popular items for the coffee shop’s main audience: workers in factories and construction sites.

The worldwide coffee chain is also known as Dunkin’ or DD. Besides donuts and several hot and cold coffee products, they sell bagels, croissants and other lunch-type snacks. In their coffee shops, they offer free Wi-Fi to guests. Wi-Fi might not always be available at their take-away counters.

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4. Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons is a multinational coffee chain, founded in 1964 in Hamilton, Canada. They are often seen as a fast-food restaurant chain, as they also sell various fast food products. Tim Hortons is Canada’s largest quick-service restaurant chain, with almost 5,000 restaurants in 15 countries.

Even though they have a large food-menu, the company still mainly relies on coffee sales. Their coffee products consist of regular coffees, flavored cappuccinos, iced cappuccinos, and iced coffees. Other beverages they sell are tea, hot chocolate, soft drinks and frozen lemonade.

The chain has an “always fresh” policy and serves their coffee within 20 minutes after brewing. The coffee served is a blend of 100% arabica beans, but since 2014 they also offer a dark roast coffee blend as an alternative.

5. McCafé

Where McDonald’s is mainly known as a fast-food chain, their McCafé provides fabulous coffees and snacks. The coffee chain was founded in 1993 in Australia, based on a consumer trend towards espresso-based coffees. After successful trials in Australia and New Zealand, by 2002 the chain had expanded to 13 countries. Nowadays, the coffee chain from McDonald’s counts over 35,000 coffee shops worldwide, most of them providing free Wi-Fi.

Interesting is that the McCafé outlets are very successful and tend to generate more revenue than the McDonald’s restaurants itself. Besides the original hot coffee drinks, you can also order flavored cappuccinos, iced coffees and smoothies. As for snacks, they offer several baked items, like muffins, pies and pastries. Their food offers vary from location to location.

Want to offer your customers something extra?

A Wi-Fi connection is a great start to attract more customers. After all, people tend to spend more time in a place that offers free Wi-Fi. 74% of people are even happy to leave an e-mail address or phone number behind to receive promotions. Thus, a free Wi-Fi connection can also benefit you as a coffee shop owner, because you can expand your email or SMS marketing.

Nevertheless, people can get free Wi-Fi pretty much everywhere, so they want something more. Provide a relaxed seating area or a place where people can work properly and make them feel at home with a beautiful interior.

And don’t forget your marketing. Make people aware of your fine-looking coffee shop and delicious coffee with our 8 marketing ideas for coffee shops.

6. Lavazza

Lavazza is founded in 1895 by Luigi Lavazza in Turin, Italy. The business is currently still owned by the Lavazza family, by the 3rd and 4th generation to be precise. The company started its operations small from a local grocery store, but overtime, the grocery store turned into a coffee shop, selling its specialty of toasting coffee beans and homemade coffee blends. In the meantime, Lavazza is one of the most famous coffee brands worldwide.

It is only since 2019 that they opened coffee shops where people can order and drink coffee in the shop. The first coffee shop opened in Turin and after a successful trial they also opened a location in the United Kingdom. In only a short period of time they opened several locations in the United States, France, Russia and China. Their plan is to expand quickly and even to try to compete with Starbucks.

A fun fact is that Lavazza helped to launch the first coffee machine in space in 2015. Together with Argotec and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) they developed the ISSpresso. In their coffee shops here on earth, you can choose from a fine selection of hot and cold coffees with different flavors. All their coffee shops provide free access to Wi-Fi.

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7. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is an American-founded company since 1963. After the founder went on a honeymoon to Sweden, he became aware of quality coffees. He decided to import, roast and sell gourmet coffee, opening the first Coffee Bean store in 1968. In the 1970s, they added exotic teas to the menu and during the summer of 1987 an employee invented their signature ice blended drinks with ice, coffee extract, and chocolate powder. The invention resulted in a popularity surge.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is often also referred to as The Coffee Bean or abbreviated as CBTL. The first international CBTL coffee shop opened in 1996 in Singapore, and the year after another opened in Malaysia. Today, the company has over 1,000 franchises in over 25 countries. However, they do not yet have locations in Europe.

In their shops, they provide a wide selection of high-quality coffees. You can order espressos, coffees, teas and of course their signature ice blended drinks. CBTL also offers seasonal drinks for a change.

8. Gloria Jean’s

Gloria Jean’s started in 1979 as an American company. The founder, Gloria Jean Kvetko, started the company in a small town just outside Chicago, Illinois, United States. Her company started as a small gift shop selling coffee, but quickly expanded to 50 franchises throughout the US. In 1995 Gloria Jean’s Coffee Australia was established, resulting in 185 Australian coffee shops in 2004. Today, Gloria Jean’s Coffee counts more than 1,400 locations in over 40 countries. Pretty much all the coffee shops offer free Wi-Fi, so you can enjoy the internet with a good cup of coffee.

Gloria Jean’s is famous for their flavored coffees. From coconut and salted caramel to cookies and cream, you’ll find your favorite coffee taste on the menu. Besides coffees, they also provide fruit chillers and smoothies.

9. Caribou Coffee

Caribou Coffee is an American coffee chain founded in 1992 by John Puckett. Nevertheless, the company only started to take off when Michael J. Coles was named CEO of Caribou Coffee in 2003. In 3 years time, the company expanded to 337 coffee shops in 14 states and was listed on NASDAQ. For the first time, the numbers all turned out positive. Nowadays, Caribou Coffee has over 700 coffee shops in the United States, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Most of the Caribou Coffee shops provide free Wi-Fi and you can order a great selection of coffees and other beverages. On their menu you find flavored hot and iced coffees, teas, hot chocolate, lemonade and mocktails. They also offer all-day breakfast, bagels and other snacks. So, Caribou Coffee will definitely set you up for a hard day of work.

10. Mikel Coffee

Mikel Coffee is an international coffee shop with free Wi-Fi, founded in Greece. The Greek coffee chain opened their first shop in 2008 in Larissa. Only in 2015 they opened their first coffee shop outside Greece, in London. Since then, the company has already opened 60 international shops in 15 countries around the world, and this number is expanding quickly. Among these countries are the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.

They see themselves as a colorful coffee community, where people can meet and exchange ideas. Their colorful coffee cups definitely deliver a contribution to their community. A fun fact about Mikel Coffee is that MIKEL stands for “Maybe it’s knowledge entering life”, the company’s motto. The logo features Eleftherios Kyriakakis, who is the father of the founder.

Besides several tasty hot coffees, Mikel Coffee also offers cold coffee drinks, chocolate milk and ice tea. In most shops you also find freshly baked goods, like croissants, cookies, sweets and sandwiches. In short, a perfect coffee chain to get inspiration from.

Wrapping it up

Coffee shops with free Wi-Fi can be found everywhere. So, if you want customers coming to your coffee shop to use the Wi-Fi, make sure to offer them something extra. Ensure you provide great coffee and maybe some snacks and think of your interior as well. A fresh look and comfortable chairs can work miracles.

Keep in mind that using a free Wi-Fi connection is not always safe. It’s best practice to not use banking apps or provide personal information when using a public connection. Another tip is to use a VPN, so your internet usage will be encrypted. Sign-up to our newsletter so you don’t miss our guide iOS Wi-Fi security to see how you can protect personal details on your phone while using an open Wi-Fi connection.

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