Posts Tagged ‘wifi’

More on Breakfast Dining

September 6, 2010

We’ve written about the new breakfast craze before and now it’s time to revisit the subject. New information has emerged on exactly how some restaurateurs are pulling ahead of the competition in order to grab more of the breakfast eat out market.

Coupons and WiFi

We recently wrote about the question of Kindles and computers in restaurants. One thing that we didn’t mention in that article is that some restaurants are deliberately installing WiFi. They’re not just trying to attract customers, but also to keep people lingering in the hope that they will continue to order more food as they sit in front of their screens.

This is especially important in attracting the breakfast crowd as this group of people often drops by quickly and then races out the door. By allowing this market segment to get something done while they eat, these restaurants could be encouraging more customers who will stay longer (and hopefully eat more).

In addition to free WiFi services, many restaurateurs are tempting breakfast diners into their establishments by offering discounts and coupons. These coupons include those sent directly to cell phones or e-mail so as to grab customers’ attention quickly and early.

McDonald’s, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts are Still the Favorites

A recent survey of consumers has shown however that smaller restaurateurs have an uphill battle ahead of them in getting people in the door. Fully 46% of those who said they had eaten out for breakfast mentioned McDonalds as their first choice, with Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks each tying for second with 19%. However, that doesn’t mean that smaller players can’t get in one the game, or that diners cannot be lured away from the more traditional breakfast venues.

What do all three of these heavy-hitting franchises offer that even the smallest independent can match? Free WiFi and occasional coupons that entice people to sit down and stay a while.

To Kindle or Not to Kindle—That is the Question

August 23, 2010

A writer for the New York Times recently complained that when he took out his Kindle e-book reader that he was not allowed to use it in two different restaurants in New York City, ostensibly because there was a policy in place at these establishments whereby computers were banned. He argued that the Kindle is not a computer but rather a book reader, but to no avail.

An Era of Persistent High Unemployment

In an era of persistently high unemployment, many people are trying to find a place where they can sit and send out their resumes undisturbed, while perhaps sipping a cup of coffee or eating a piece of cake.

However, when these people occupy a table for three or four hours at a time, spending just $3 for a cup of coffee, it becomes increasingly difficult to see them as customers. Instead, they may look begin to look like freeloaders! This is the reason why some restaurants are now trying the “no computers policy” on for size.

Steady Customers

Many of the arguments for allowing computers in restaurants and even offering free wifi and charging stations for them revolve around the fact that customers who come in regularly, even if they don’t buy too much, are worth more than the occasional drop in customer.

But as you might guess, this value will be different for every restaurant, café, or coffee shop, and depends on a multitude of factors.

There is no right or wrong answer to whether or not you should implement a no computer policy. It is up to each restaurant owner to set their own terms based on what they see happening in their own establishments.

How to Be Fair and Still Protect Your Bottom Line

However, we did like the suggestion made by one commenter at the New York Times – Simply place a time limit per person at a table. A half hour for one person, an hour for two people, an hour and a half for three or more. This way, everyone can be accommodated while still allowing for turnover and avoiding those who park themselves for four hours at a table for four, and spend just $3 for a cup of coffee the entire time.