When out and about, if you were looking for somewhere to sit down and get some internet, the chances are you would turn to a coffee shop over a boozer. However Pub chain Punch Tavern is looking to change that by installing free Wi-Fi into its tenanted and leased pubs.
In a deal with The Cloud, Punch Taverns is looking to install free Wi-Fi into 5,000 of its chains in a move to combat big name coffee shops and restaurants and take a slice of the daytime crowd, who are often attracted by the offer of free Wi-Fi.
The roll-out is set for completion by the end of March 2013.
Punch Tavern’s licensees are already reporting benefits of free Wi-Fi, with statistics showing high usage levels during the daytime which is traditionally a quieter period for pubs.
Susan King, who runs the Punch Tavern owned Derwent Arms Pub says she sees the benefits. “I’ve had free Wi-Fi in the pub for just over two months and since it has been installed I’ve definitely seen the benefits,” she said.
“Now-a-days I see a lot of young people coming in with smartphones and laptops and they tend to stay longer because they can use the internet for free. I would definitely recommend it for any pub business. In fact, I believe it is a necessity,” she added.
Julie Clamp, Machine Development Manager at Punch, said: “We have already seen pubs making the most of the opportunity WiFi offers, through introducing meeting spaces for business users, or adding or upgrading a coffee offer to increase dwell time.”
Also wanting to cash-in on the daytime trade, discount pub chain Wetherspoons is also said to be inking a deal with The Cloud to roll out free Wi-Fi across its nationwide chain of pubs.