Restaurant WiFi Marketing: Boost Foot Traffic and Sales

Marketing 16 minute read 21st June 2024

When it comes to innovative promotion tactics, many turn to restaurant WiFi marketing. This is a smart decision for increasing foot traffic and sales. After all, when more people visit your restaurant, you have more chances to upsell and cross-sell. Since they’re already at your venue, they might as well try, especially if you’re offering on-location discounts.

However, that is just one of the ways to make more sales through guest WiFi. With proper research, you’ll learn about even more tactics that work wonders when combined. If you want that for your restaurant, let this article guide you.

You’ll learn what WiFi marketing for restaurants is, its benefits, and how it works. So, let’s start the discussion.

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What Is Restaurant WiFi Marketing?

So, first, what is restaurant WiFi marketing? It is a marketing approach that uses a restaurant’s free WiFi service to connect with customers and boost business.

The concept is quite simple. You provide customers with free WiFi in exchange for some information. We’ll discuss the workings later, but let’s see what information you can collect.

A customer’s name and email address are the most common data restaurants ask for. Some businesses might also ask for preferences, age, gender, etc.

However, demographics and personal information isn’t the only data you can collect. Once the customer connects to your network, your WiFi marketing platform can gather more information.

Depending on the software, you can learn what websites customers visit and how long they stay there. This information allows you to judge their expectations, needs, and behaviors and use them in future marketing campaigns. But remember, you need the customers’ consent to track this data, so proceed carefully.

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How Does WiFi Hotspot Marketing Work?

WiFi hotspot marketing uses a business’s WiFi network as a launchpad to connect with customers and promote its offerings. The process is simple if you have restaurant marketing software and a captive portal.

This special web page customers see when they try to connect to your business’s WiFi network. Without this web page, you won’t be able to capture the information we mentioned above. In other words, you’d be wasting your WiFi network’s real potential.

Setting up a captive portal is simple but depends on your router. Let’s examine how restaurant WiFi marketing works:

  1. You set up a free WiFi hotspot that broadcasts a signal that customers access when they’re within your restaurant.
  2. When customers try to connect to the network, a redirect to the captive portal pops up. To access the WiFi, customers must provide the required information or agree to terms of usage.
  3. Once the customers perform the required action, the captive portal lets them use the Internet.
  4. At the same time, the software stores the information that becomes the foundation for your restaurant’s marketing efforts.
  5. The free WiFi and personalized marketing efforts help you provide a better customer experience. Overall, it’s a win-win situation for your customers and the restaurant.

6 Benefits of Social WiFi for Cafe and Restaurant

Free WiFi is usually one of the first things customers demand from businesses in the hospitality industry. This doesn’t apply to hotels alone because people like browsing the Internet while having a meal.

Statistics show that 29% of diners browse Facebook or Twitter when they dine. Giving them the means to do so without cellular data will enhance their dining experience. Therefore, social WiFi for cafes and restaurants is a must to boost your restaurant rating.

However, that’s not the only perk of WiFi marketing for growth. There’s much more. Let’s explore the six best advantages of this marketing strategy.

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1. Capture Customer Data

Everything about WiFi marketing is strategic. And if you want to be strategic, you need to collect customer data.

As mentioned, you can gather customers’ information when they gain WiFi access or browse the Internet.

Firstly, names and email addresses allow you to build email lists. If you can capture more personal information, you can turn those lists into databases. This will help you personalize your email marketing efforts.

Secondly, some businesses allow customers to log in through their social media accounts. This helps you understand customer preferences through their likes and preferences. But again, you need customer consent for this.

Moreover, if you ask for phone numbers, you can use them for SMS and proximity marketing. Another insight that WiFi gives is device information. This might not seem like much at first glance.

But when you know common customer devices, you can optimize your content for them. Doing so improves the effectiveness of your campaign by providing a better experience.

Lastly, you can tailor your restaurant marketing campaigns to a specific demographic with information like age groups, genders, and locations.

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2. Get More Customer Engagement

Even though making sales is every restaurant’s ultimate goal, some things combine to get you there. One of those things is customer engagement. The more your customers engage with your restaurant, the more likely they are to dine there.

Firstly, the simple fact that you provide free WiFi to your customers is enough to initiate a positive interaction. You’re giving them the means to stay connected, which is positive for the entire customer experience.

Once that happens, people will happily engage with your brand because they’ll feel like you listen to them. Besides, free WiFi tempts people to stay longer.

Moreover, the data you collect through the software will allow you to personalize customer experience. Diners will feel like you’re talking directly to them. As a result, they’ll engage more with your marketing materials.

For example, you can send them survey links through email marketing. Happy customers will be more than willing to fill out a short form and give you their opinions. You can gather that data to improve your menu and services or display opinions as online reviews.

You can also integrate WiFi marketing with your email loyalty programs. Create customer accounts when they use their email addresses to sign up on their first visit. Then, let them view their points on all proceeding visits to redeem a reward when they’ve accumulated enough points.

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3. Encourage Repeat Visits

Considering the previous point closely, you’ll see it branching out to repeat visits. When you promote your loyalty programs through WiFi marketing, you give customers another reason to visit you. This is especially true when the reward is something valuable to the customer.

For example, most diners want a handsome discount, but a free meal could do the trick. You’ll have to understand your audience to decide on the best rewards.

But whatever you choose as a reward, one thing is for sure: customers will visit repeatedly to accumulate loyalty points. If you maintain good taste and service, they’ll probably turn into loyal customers. When that happens, they’ll visit your restaurant for the food and service rather than just points.

Besides, customer loyalty means brand ambassadorship. People who like a certain restaurant sing its praises to their friends and family. They also share their experience online on social media and review websites. As a result, more people visit your restaurant, increasing foot traffic.

4. Boost Sales Through Targeted Promotions

Since personalization has become a hot topic in marketing, people expect businesses to send them targeted promotions. They expect brands to understand their needs and market to them accordingly.

The data you collect with your WiFi can help create highly targeted promotions that resonate with your customers.

For example, you can use customer names and preferences to personalize your email marketing efforts. You can send them offers and recommendations based on their previous orders at your restaurant.

Moreover, you can use the captive portal WiFi to initiate proximity marketing. Once customers connect to your WiFi, you can send personalized offers.

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5. Grow Your Social Media Following

WiFi marketing also allows you to grow your social media following. Instead of asking people to provide personal information, you can allow them to log in through their social media accounts. This is an easy and simple way to gain WiFi access, which adds to the customer experience.

Moreover, you can display and link targeted social media ads on the captive portal. Since every connected customer will visit this page, they’ll see the promotions regardless of their social media preferences. You must make the promotions interesting enough to ensure they click on them.

6. Collect Customer Reviews

Last but not least, WiFi marketing allows you to collect customer reviews. This is possible by displaying a short survey when customers disconnect from your WiFi network.

However, allow customers to remain anonymous when filling out these surveys. This way, they’ll give you completely unbiased feedback that can help your business, even if it’s negative. You can learn about your restaurant’s weak points and work on them to make your restaurant a favorite among diners.

On the other hand, you can use positive feedback to gain more customers. Display these customer opinions throughout your venue or on social media. You can add a testimonial section to your email marketing efforts and leave a good impression on customers.

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Increase Your Sales and Revenue With WiFi Marketing

Restaurant WiFi marketing can be an effective promotion tactic. Its first effect is increasing foot traffic. Moreover, you can use a captive portal to capture actionable insights. Then, you can use software to gather more insights into customers’ behavior for marketing purposes.

WiFi marketing is one of the most essential marketing software tools for restaurants. Beambox is an all-in-one WiFi solution that helps with all your marketing needs. Over 12,000 venues use our WiFi solutions for their marketing results.

Do you want to try this in your future restaurant marketing campaigns? Start your Beambox free trial today!

Grow your business and customer loyalty with guest WiFi!

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