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Guest Visit Frequency
Guest Acquisition

How Wi-Fi helps restaurants grow

Mike Vichich
created on
Oct 25, 2016


Free Wi-Fi has become an expectation of most restaurant guests. 


As a restaurant owner, operator, or marketer, you need to make sure your restaurant is getting the value it deserves from your free guest Wi-Fi network. 


There are five components to maximize your Wi-Fi ROI

  1. Guest Email Collection & Visit Tracking
  2. Triggered Emails and Mass Email Blasts
  3. Guest Recognition & Rewards
  4. Hyper Targeted Marketing
  5. Analytics

Our goal was to help restaurateurs increase marketing ROI and save them time. Consequently, each of these five components is highly automated.


1. Guest Email Collection and Visit Tracking

Typically, this takes the form of a splash page that allows the guest to enter their email or connect with Facebook in return for free Wi-Fi. We've seen restaurants collect between 250 and 750 emails per location per month. If you have 10 locations, over the course of the year, you're looking at 30,000 - 90,000 guest email addresses. That's not all, though, your Wi-Fi system should automatically track guest visits each time they walk in. At the end of a given period, you'll should be able to sort your guest list by your most frequent visitors. This piece serves as the foundation for the others.


2. Triggered Emails and Mass Email Blasts

If a repeat customer hasn't visited in 30 days, automatically send them an email. Two weeks before a guest's birthday, automatically send them an email. When a guest makes platinum in your rewards program, automatically send them an email with their benefits. All of these are examples of trigger-based email campaigns that are fully automated. To create a triggered campaign, you can choose from our library of triggers, or you can define your own. After a campaign has been active, it's easy to see whether a given email type is successful in driving guests back into your restaurant. Our system also facilitates mass email blasts, just like Fishbowl, Constant Contact, and Mailchimp. Either trigger-based emails or mass email blasts can be created using your own custom HTML, or you can select from our library.


3. Guest Recognition and Rewards

Managers of restaurants using Wisely Wi-Fi will get a push notification when a Wi-Fi connected guest arrives. Each push notification includes the guest's visit history and available social information. Regarding point #1 above, on a per location basis, you could expect 250-750 wifi signups per month or 3,000 to 9,000 signups per location per year. When you combine that scale of information with real-time guest arrival notifications, you have a very powerful guest recognition suite. On top of guest recognition, you can also offer a rewards program. See the Growth Software page for more information.


4. Hyper Targeted Marketing

Over the last few years, Facebook Custom Audiences have grown from a new-fangled technology into a core technology for major restaurant groups. Wisely takes that one step further, to create Lookalike Audiences. Based on this, Wisely can target people who are similar to your regular customers at scale, and constrain that targeting to a geographic area around your restaurants. The holy grail of any marketer is to optimize Customer Lifetime Value relative to Customer Acquisition Cost (LTV:CAC). Bottom line: the best customers to acquire are those who are demographically and behaviorally similar to your best customers. Finally, there's a way.


5. Analytics

Wisely's Wi-Fi Guest Engagment platform allows restaurants to measure metrics that were previously impossible. What is my overall average visit frequency? How many people did that holiday email blast actually drive back into my restaurant? This information is easily accessible via Wisely's dashboard. To illustrate one example: one of our clients changed their GM bonus plan from sales and profit to guest visit frequency (absolute performance and percent improvement). 


Wi-Fi can be a significant value creator for a restaurant group. If you're interested in learning more, please request a demo. 


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Wisely empowers restaurant groups to grow and sustain profitability by acquiring valuable new guests, converting them into regulars, and keeping them happy for life. Our software is easy-to-use and enhances productivity, so staff can focus on what really matters. For more information or media inquiries, please contact us at hello@getwisely.com.