Cafè’s, restaurants, bars and hotel reception areas are great places for people to meet up with friends and colleagues for a cup of coffee and a chat.  The cafè culture is based solely on being social, and it’s main clientele is destined to stop by for a quick drink, and either catch up on some work online or to meet with friends and have a good chat.  cafe wifi

The cafè culture is all about the nice surroundings, great beverages and sometimes somewhere to stop for a quick bite to eat.  The whole essence of a cafè is being social.  Nowadays it is becoming more and more commonplace, that for every high street you will find a mass of cafè’s that you can drop into for a quick refreshment, and a catch up with friends.

The cafè culture originated predominantly from Europe, where you can’t walk anywhere (even in the villages) without finding people sitting outside a cafè with friends enjoying a cuppa and a chat.  Europeans will sometimes spend hours sitting at a cafè enjoying the surroundings and talking with friends and family, and it is noted that in towns and cities it is not uncommon to see half a dozen cafè’s or more in a row.  It is this cafè culture that has now spread across the globe and can be seen just about everywhere.  All town and city centres have cafè’s scattered all over, and everybody knows how far they have to go, from their office or place of work to get a takeaway coffee.  This is a culture that dominates everyday thinking, and with loyalty cards most people know where the nearest Starbucks, Costa Coffee, or even Mcdonalds is to get their daily caffeine intake.

So how does a cafè stand out from the crowd?

It is not easy, most cafè’s will offer the same selection of beverages and food and will be at roughly the same price as their competitors, so there is no differentiation there.  Also alot of the cafè’s will be fitted out to a similar standard, and offer similar background music.  Nearly all cafè’s offer free Wifi as well, so aside from location and occupancy size there really isn’t much to help a cafe stand out from the crowd.

Not all patrons of cafè’s are there to socialise.  There is a growing number of remote workers, that have a need for access to free public Wifi so that they can connect back to the office, or catch up on their workload.  This growing trend of workers are both good and bad news for cafè’s.  When a worker is connected to the Wifi they will have inevitably purchased something so that they can use the facilities within the premises, so whilst this is bringing in sales it can also have the opposite effect, as these remote workers can become laptop squatters who only make one purchase during a two hour period.  Now a sale is a sale, but if the laptop squatter is using the premises during peak times, that is invariably a table that could seat four paying customers taken up by one person, who only bought one cup of coffee.  So now the laptop squatter is costing the business money.

Now businesses should not turn away these business customers as the whole purpose of a remote worker is the opportunity to work from anywhere at any time, and sometimes a business person will arrange an informal business meeting at the cafè’s as they know that they can get everything done in a comfortable environment whilst still having access back to the office.  Also on some occasions the “business meeting” can be put on expenses, so these laptop squatters can become a consistent stream of income for cafè’s especially in off peak times.

But how do you strike a balance?

As a cafè owner the ideal situation is to have the premises full of customers who are purchasing more than one item during the period that they are there, but to also have business customers filling the premises during off peak times.  Now this might sound like a dreamworld, but it is actually possible.

Cafè owners can encourage customers to visit the premises at certain times through the use of promotions and coupons, something that can be visual both in store and also via email.  But the quickest way to contact customers is through social media, and by making your cafè more social through Social Wifi, cafe owners have the opportunity and the means with which to connect with their customers on a whole new level.  Unless a cafè has regular’s that visit the premises everyday it is highly unlikely that the cafè owner will know who their customers are, let alone how to reach out to them to encourage them to visit again.  Once a customer has walked out the door the business owners generally have no way of knowing if they will be back again.  Some business owners try to encourage surveys on their customers, but if someone is in rush or just wants to relax, the last thing they want to do is to fill out a survey form or be asked a load of questions.   Through the power of Social Wifi, business owners now have the opportunity to collect this data without being intrusive or taking up any of the customers time.

cafè wifiOne big stigma with public Wifi offerings is security, alot of people are under the impression that you shouldn’t do anything online that involves using any of your passwords, like online banking for instance.  Now this is correct for public Wifi hotspots that are not encrypted or secure, and due care should always be taken.

Mobile technology enables a cafè culture – consumers feel safe and comfortable checking Facebook, sending and receiving emails, downloading pictures, online shopping, conducting mobile banking, and even accessing sensitive documents over free Public Wifi services.  Often customers are unaware of the severe cybercrime risks posed by these seemingly harmless tasks, and the ones that are aware are put off using the free Wifi offerings in cafè’s which kinda defeats the object of offering the free Wifi in the first place.  So now the Wifi that the cafè is offering can be a deterrent rather than making the cafè appealing.

So what can a cafè do to make their Wifi safe, secure and appealing again for their customers?

Cafè, restaurant, bar and hotel owners need to find a Wifi provider that is more than just a Wifi provider.  Anybody can get a router, connect it to an internet connection and offer a public Wifi service, but that means that the security is solely dependent on the technical skills of the person who did the initial setup and installation.  Businesses need a provider that is fully compliant with data laws, internet safety and security and is responsible.  Good providers should be able to flaunt their credentials such as being associated with the Internet Watch Foundation and Friendly Wifi, these are two associations that are solely setup to protect the public and to ensure internet safety for all.

So how do you make a cafè more social?

Cafè owners need to embrace the technological changes going on.  Ten years ago it wascafe wifi flock sufficient for a cafè to offer great coffee, somewhere comfortable to sit, and some good music in the background.  With the advancements in technology and the need for instant online access that is safe and secure, all cafè’s need to move with the times and find ways of meeting their customers needs.  Utilising Social Wifi cafè owners can encourage repeat customers, coerce customers into attending at certain times and engage with customers like never before.  Cafè’s will always be social, but social has taken on additional meanings and cafè owners need to find a Wifi provider, who can offer your business, versatile Wifi that is not only great for your business, but also your customers, that is also safe and secure?  A provider that can help to enhance your business and meet all the growing technological needs that this modern era dictates.  One simple solution all encompassing is through Bansko WiFi.

Cafè’s are no longer just a meeting place or somewhere to grab a quick coffee.  Cafè’s have become the next chamber of commerce where business deals are done, meetings are held, and remote workers utilise as their own office.  This is coupled with the origination of the cafè culture where people want to meet friends and family for a good chat and just generally relax and socialise.  It is is a hard balance to find, but there has never been a time when a cafè has become so diverse and yet so in demand for all the multiple needs of it’s patrons.  Cafè’s have a unique opportunity to become even more social if they can embrace the latest demand for technology, and it doesn’t have to break the bank either, cafè’s can become more social for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a day – just ask us how.