Today more than ever, diners are using mobile devices while eating out. They’re ‘checking in’ to restaurants, sharing photos on social media and reading restaurant reviews. According to Technomic, a research and consulting firm specialising in the food industry, 47% of millennials indicate that whether or not a restaurant offers free Wi-Fi can impact their decision to eat there.
Restaurants are starting to realise their customers want to get connected, and that providing fast and free Wi-Fi can help boost both dining experiences and customer satisfaction.
The business issue
Canadian restaurant chain, Lone Star Texas Grill had fallen foul of poor Wi-Fi. The burdensome connection process and slow Wi-Fi received endless complaints, impacting how customers perceived the restaurant and even online restaurant reviews. Something needed to be done quickly.
The solution was to install a guest Wi-Fi platform, but the team at Lone Star had some clear requirements that needed to be met: a quick onboarding process, cloud-based management across all locations, insights into customer behaviour, the ability to grow customer databases and easy implementation of marketing initiatives.
After extensive research of what was available and comparing various platform offerings Volare, powered by Cloud4Wi was selected offering the exact capabilities uniquely suited to Lone Star’s needs.
Volare was installed in just a few days on Lone Star’s existing Cisco Meraki Wi-Fi infrastructure, meaning that diners immediately experienced fast Wi-Fi and an effortless onboarding process.
New users registering through Volare have the option to connect using their email and phone number, or Facebook account. The platform can recognise returning guests and automatically connect them for future visits.
With each login, Volare collects and aggregates customer data – contributing qualified emails to the database while displaying insightful metrics on a single dashboard. Data sets include how many people visit the restaurant (including new versus existing visitors), who the customers are and their demographics, as well as how customers behave while online.
Information about the restaurant’s loyalty program is now displayed on the Welcome Portal, which is also home to surveys, giving customers an easy outlet to provide feedback on the food, service and overall meal experience.
One Volare feature that really intrigued the Lone Star group was its ability to count the number of people walking by the restaurant, without requiring them to connect. Knowing this information empowers Lone Star to explore new ways to draw in those just passing by outside. Having actual conversion numbers help Lone Star figure out what their best practices are, so they can better plan for the future.
Revamping the guest Wi-Fi has dramatically improved Lone Star’s social media presence. The new welcome portal with social login has increased the number of ‘Likes’ on the Lone Star Facebook page, which helps extend the reach of promotions to friends and families of existing customers.
With sign-up for the Lone Star VIP loyalty program conveniently on the welcome portal, the number of VIP members spiked in just three months. The amount of customer feedback received also increased, helping Lone Star see what customers are happy with and areas where the restaurant can improve.
One of the biggest benefits of the new Guest Wi-Fi platform has been the growth of email subscribers. Lone Star now has a better understanding of who their customers are and can plan for specially targeted marketing campaigns. With the marketing tools available on the Volare platform, Lone Star can create and execute campaigns straight from the dashboard.
Through the data collected, Lone Star is better able to identify traffic patterns and adjust hours of operation and staffing strategies thus improving restaurant efficiency.
The decision to deploy Volare has not only transformed how the restaurant chain operates, but has also shaped its future marketing plans. The team plans on leveraging Volare’s marketing tools to build stronger, more meaningful customer relationships. For instance, when a diner leaves the restaurant, Lone Star will send them a ‘thank you’ email or text with a coupon – enticing the diner to return and dine again in the future. With some features still left to explore, Lone Star hopes to build even stronger relationships with its customers in the future.
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