Our client found themselves faced with a common issue in the café and coffee shop industry; guests that would visit their location, make one small purchase, and spend 5+ hours sitting down using the free WiFi that was made available. Customers with potential to buy more were purchasing less because of the lack of seating which was being taken up by some guests abusing the free WiFi access.
On top of that, due to the nature of guest Internet usage, the café’s Internet provider was sending them warning notices threatening to suspend Internet services. This especially is quite dangerous for the café because without Internet, payment processing would not be possible for debit/credit.
We recommended a Meraki wireless solution that gave the café the ability to manage and monitor their wireless network. They now have the power to limit the duration and speed of free WiFi access along with the ability to shape the traffic coming through the wireless network; they can block adult content, peer-to-peer file sharing, video games, and other unwanted activities that use up sizable bandwidth. These blocks are a great value-add because they ensure the WiFi network complies with the café’s family-friendly policies and Internet usage policies.
With a time limit set to 90 minutes, guests still have the ability to enjoy a fair amount of Internet access but are deterred from spending excessive amounts of time abusing the free WiFi. Should they require longer than 90 minutes, guests can purchase additional time for Internet access through the use of a credit card right from their own device. This adds an additional revenue source for the café which is always beneficial.
The small footprint and strong signal of the device made it ideal for their environment and the web management dashboard makes it easy for the owner to monitor the network. Armed with the right solution, the owner of the café can now control and manage his once chaotic network.