Complementary WiFi Is Highly Romanced by Rural Customers; Lingering in Your Restaurant for Hours

These days, customers expect the businesses they frequent to provide reliable, free Wi-Fi. Oh yes, complementary Wi-Fi is absolutely romanced and embraced by rural patrons.

Restaurant Patrons and Smartphones-It's a Romance

Good internet is good customer service, particularly if you’re entertaining customers on site for long periods of time. Outfitting your restaurant with a reliable Wi-Fi connectionenhances the customer experience and boosts business.
Good internet is a rarity in rural areas, but think of this fact as an opportunity, not a stumbling block. If, as a rural business, you can offer customers a reliable connection in a place where they can’t get it on their own (i.e. where the cellular network is weak), you will win yourself a community of loyal customers.

Small Business Wi-Fi Statistics Benefits the Owners

A study of 400 small businesses, conducted by Devicescape and iGR, found that offering free Wi-Fi increased foot traffic, the amount of time customers spent on site, and the amount of money customers spent. Check out these numbers from the report:

– 61.3% of small businesses say that customers stay longersince the business installed Wi-Fi

– 50.1% of small businesses say customers spend more money since the business installed Wi-Fi

– 75% of small businesses say offering complementary Wi-Fi is important or very important to their business [1]

Restaurant Foot Traffic

Retaining a small community of customers is often key to the business strategies of rural restaurants. After all, if customers stay at your establishment long enough, they’ll get hungry again. Because Wi-Fi has a measurable effect on customer retention, it is ideal for small volume businesses.

Good or Great Wi-Fi = Free Marketing for Lucky You!

Whether you’re a fan of the trend or not, the growing connection between food and social media is undeniable. Maybe it flatters you when your customer takes a photo of the meal you serve them. Maybe it annoys you. Either way, providing an internet connection that enables this behavior is a great word of mouth marketing technique when the customer posts the photo online.

Food On Table At A Restaurant

Identifying A Reliable Internet Option that Works

Finding a reliable rural internet connection outside the cable and DSL coverage areas is particularly difficult since restaurants (and other businesses) have high bandwidth requirements from multiple users. There are, really,just three viable service options:

Mobile Evdo Broadband

The internet you get with your Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint cellular data plan – is easy and inexpensive to install as   Wi-Fi, straightforward to use, and provides the fastest potential internet connection as measured by user experience. However, this option might not provide ample bandwidth to support more than 2-3 simultaneous users. Always keep the video-centric customers in mind .

Downlink: 5-12 Mbps (LTE), 1-4 Mbps (3G)
Uplink: 2-5 Mbps (LTE), 1 Mbps (3G)
Latency: 75-100 ms
Cost: $50-$60/10GB/month
Installation: Around $100

Because subscribers purchase mobile broadband by blocks of gigabyte of data, you’ll be paying directly for each customer who accesses your Wi-Fi network. Cost, then, is unpredictable; you could end up paying through the nose in overcharges if a few customers are heavy users.

Cellphone With 4G

Satellite Internet is A Choice, But Not a Good Option

The internet that providers like HughesNet and DishNet offer – is the most widely available connection in rural areas. You can install satellite anywhere with a clear view of the part of the sky your provider’s satellites orbit in.

Downlink: 5-15 Mbps
Uplink: 1-2 Mbps
Latency: 500-1500 ms
Cost: $50-$90/month
Installation: Around $500

However, satellite internet is just not the right solution for a commercial level wifi network. Unfortunately, the user experience of satellite is slow due to complicated bandwidth restrictions and high latency (lag time).

Satellite internet will not be the best choice for a restaurant wifi network.

T-1 Internet Provide the Best Solution in A Rural Market, But….

if you have the capital to invest in it, is the most reliable rural internet connection for a high capacity of users. A T1 connection splits into 24 channels, each of which maintains identical downlink and uplink speeds. Up to 24 users can access your T1 network without it affecting speed.

Downlink: 1.544 Mbps
Uplink: 1.544 Mbps
Latency: 3-5 ms
Cost: $300-$1200/month
Installation: $1000-$45,000

As you can see from the price points above, T1 is by no means the most economic solution to installing Wi-Fi in your restaurant. If you have the funds for it, however, T1 can solve your rural connectivity problems for good and, ultimately, keep customers universally satisfied. The T-1 cost is the biggest drawback, unless you are selling tons of food and booze!

Internet Bonding Just Might Be Your Affordable Choice

Internet bonding enables you to use a router or software application to combine multiple internet carriers such as low cost 3G, 4G, satellite, DSL and cable to provide you an affordable lower cost bandwidth that is reliable. By combining all of these solutions, you can achieve your bandwidth requirement for the restaurant wifi.
If you are interested in internet bonding, you may wish to speak to Peplink, Multapplied Network or Mushroom Network.

Diagram Showing Internet Bonding Via Peplink Network

Stephen Kota

About Stephen Kota

Founder & Primary Author

Stephen enjoys photography, boating and gardening. He cares for pet Kois in his water garden.

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