The significant rise in the number of cafes, sandwich bars, coffee shops and deli’s may be a signal that the economy is recovering but if these businesses want to survive and thrive, there is a must have ingredient which they won’t find in their barista-made latte or pulled pork on rye sandwiches. That ingredient is free WiFi.

According to a recent survey carried out for MyPlace Connect, if restaurants, cafes, hotels and pubs want to attract customers, they have to offer free WiFi to their customers. The survey reveals that a staggering 90% of customers expect free WiFi service in these businesses. What is more, not only do they expect free WiFi, they will vote with their feet between those locations with free WiFi and those without, with 67% saying that they have chosen one of these destinations based on whether or not it offered a free WiFi service.

The survey, which was carried out in Dublin for MyPlace Connect, also revealed that the vast majority (70%+) rely on the free WiFi either often (28.73%) or very often (41.97%), indicating how important free WiFi services are for those people trying to obtain an internet connection.

The majority of respondents (61.62%) also claimed they were willing to provide basic information about themselves such as age, gender, e-mail address, etc. in order to get free WiFi services.

Importantly, these findings by MyPlace Connect demonstrate the importance of free WiFi for tourists. 41% of the respondents were tourists in Ireland and they reported an almost universal expectation with regards to the availability of free WiFi. Two thirds of all respondents indicated that they had chosen a destination, such as a pub, hotel, restaurant or cafe based on whether it has free WiFi.

Peadar Gormley, the CEO and Founder of MyPlace Connect, said that “the results of the survey demonstrate the link between free WiFi and growing your business. Hassle free WiFi which is easily accessible, plays a key role in attracting customers for businesses in the service industry.”

“Free WiFi is no longer ‘a nice optional extra’ to have to offer customers, but an essential element of the marketing and sales strategy. Businesses that don’t offer free WiFi are missing out on an opportunity to maintain and grow sales by building a relationship with customers as we know that two thirds of respondents to our survey have chosen a venue based on the availability of free WiFi.”

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