Free Bytes Entice
McDonald’s decision to introduce Wi-Fi in its U.K. restaurants is paying off. According to the company, 750,000 customers now use its Wi-Fi across the U.K., downloading 500 GB of data each day -- double the rate from a year ago, according to Forbes.
McDonald’s executives estimate that the numbers of customers, as well as the average spend per user, will go up as people choose to linger longer at McDonald’s restaurants that offer free Internet access. Currently, a customer spends an average of $3.80 per visit; executives expect that total to increase 5.6 percent (to $4) by the end of 2013.
While McDonald’s fans are obviously lovin’ free bytes, they’re not the only fast-casual provider that offers free wireless access. Also competing for share of stomach, wallet and bandwidth are Yum! Brands, Subway, Starbucks and Wendy’s. Still, McDonald’s may have an edge: Its ubiquity, combined with the fact that people are often skeptical about registering again and again with new networks, may prove beneficial.