offer free wi fi to your coffee shop customersEvery good coffee shop needs to offer customers the perks they except – and these days those perks usually include free wi-fi.  As phones and tablets become more popular, more and more customers are looking to connect to wi-fi at their favorite hangouts. But the challenges of managing a secure and reliable wi-fi network for your customers may go beyond your expertise.  That’s where our partners WEBbeams come in!

We recenly spoke with WEBbeams CEO Brian Van Lieshout about the solutions his company can offer to coffee shops.   WEBbeams specializes in managing wi-fi networks for coffee shops, restaurants and cafes.  They’ll provide you with a managed router and set up separate “internal” and “external” networks for your shop.  You can then offer your patrons access to the wi-fi with a password.  Set it up to be unlimited, free with purchase, or set a limited access time with purchase.  Customers can also be invited to purchase additional time online. 

WEBbeams is integrated with Coffee Shop Manager, so you can choose to automatically print a unique access code on the customer’s receipt to authorize use of the wi-fi. 

Why work with an expert to manage your network?  Brian outlined several reasons that WEBbeams makes sense: 

  • PCI compliance: Because you are most likely processing credit cards on the same network, you need professionally managed, separate and secure wi-fi to meet the guidelines for credit card security.
  • Bandwidth:  Make sure that “bandwidth hogs” don’t take over – instead allocate appropriately to your internal needs (such as your POS system) and across your customers.
  • Campers:  Some patrons will sit all day working in your shop – which may be the type of atmosphere you encourage, or may take up valuable seating for very little spending.  You can control how long ‘campers’ can keep surfing. 
  • Liability:  Eliminate potentially illegal downloads or file sharing, which could get you in trouble with your internet service provider. 
  • Reliability:  A professionally managed network means you always have someone to call for help, so that you can keep the service up and running. 

So if you’re interested in adding this “Perk” to your shop, its worth a small monthly investment to have a professional, reliable and integrated solution!