Starbucks and McDonalds already offer free WiFi. And, while possibly unique to a newly built McDonalds in my area, I found this new restaurant’s combination of good seating alternatives, free WiFi and easy access to A/C power to be a real draw for anyone needing a bit of a charge for their mobile device while eating.
Modern customers tend to be both hungry and data hungry when they walk into a restaurant chain these days. And, the steady reduction of monthly wireless data may be a challange to those who want to frequently either share or see digital photographs and video. Features like Google+’s Instant Photo means that some of these data hungry activities don’t even need the account holder to trigger it. These automatic uploads can sometimes be configured to only occur under certain network conditions (e.g., only when WiFi is available). So, the data-thrifty consumer is going to look for chains to pop into for both food/beverage and data.
Engadget reported that Taco Bell is planning to catch-up in the free WiFi game by providing this service in all their establishments by 2015. That seems like an awfully long time when Starbucks and McDonalds already have this in place, though.