The Advantages and Disadvantages of Setting Up A Cafe Wifi Network

Priyanka BhadaniPriyanka Bhadani11/28/2022

What is a cafe wifi system?

A cafe wifi system is a type of wireless internet system that is typically set up in coffee shops and other public places, allowing patrons to use their laptops, smartphones, and other devices to connect to the internet while there.

What is a Cafe Wifi System?

A cafe WiFi system is a public Wi-Fi network that people can connect to while visiting coffee shops. It uses specialized routers and software systems that allow users to connect to the Internet through their smartphones or laptops. All that a Wifi cafe asks is that its customers sign up for its newsletter or join its social media accounts in order to access its free WiFi.

According to Our World In Data, the percentage of adults in the United States using social media went up from 5% to 79% between 2005 and 2019. The leap is significant. Statista reports that as of 2022, the US had more than 307 million internet users. By 2027, it is projected to increase to 328 million, with internet penetration highest among the younger demographic.

That's why every customer-facing business has embraced the idea of providing its customers with internet. It is a valuable addition that can help a business grow. The numbers favor it too. High-Speed Internet reported that 47% of the people in the US use public WiFi regularly.

A WiFi system is an excellent way to bring in new customers and keep them returning. It allows patrons to enjoy their coffee while connected to the Internet, making it possible for them to work or browse the web while they relax.

What Does a Complete Wifi Suite Consist of?

A cafe WiFi system can be an exceptional asset for any business. However, choosing the right one is important to ensure that your customers have a positive experience. Some of the things a business should keep in mind when selecting a cafe WiFi system include the number of users it expects to have on the network at any given time and the data usage. One also needs to consider the range of the system and whether or not you need coverage for outdoor areas.

An inexpensive option is to let customers access the cafe's business Wifi network. However, this is a risky proposition. It can give strangers access to business data and may cause security risks down the line. In such a scenario, the number of people accessing the internet will be limited, and it may slow down the connection speed. While it isn't recommended, this can be used as a temporary arrangement. It would however require business owners to adjust security settings on the router for better encryption.

Setting up a cafe WiFi network specifically for customers takes more effort. But it is easy to accomplish with the right tools and a decent budget. A complete WiFi suite for a cafe includes-

What are the Advantages of a Cafe Wifi System?

After offering free WiFi to its customers for only two hours a day since 2005, coffee giant Starbucks decided to make it entirely free throughout the day in 2010. Howard Schultz, the president, chairman, and CEO said (at the time) that the brand made changes to the offering after repeated customer requests. "Our customers were asking for a simplified WiFi offering, and free WiFi has been a top request on We're excited to turn this feedback into action and believe our customers will be delighted with the enhanced experience they'll find in Starbucks stores," Schultz said.

Public WiFi can be costly to set up and maintain, and customers may not always use it the way a business intends. But there are definite advantages to offering your customers WiFi. Starbucks, for example, has only gained more customers after it offered free WiFi.

WiFi can be a great marketing tool for cafes. Customers appreciate the convenience of free Internet access, and it will draw them to visit again. Additionally, other businesses in the area may also offer free WiFi, and you can't afford to lose customers to the competition.

Another benefit of WiFi is that it allows a business to collect Customer Data, helps in Data Profiling and tracking customer behavior. One can use this data to improve the business by catering to your customers' needs and wants. For example, if you notice that many of your customers use social media while at your cafe, consider investing in additional outlets or wireless chargers so they can stay connected longer. A business can also create interesting Captive Portals to inform customers about new offerings, get them to sign-up for newsletters, offer them coupon codes, and turn one-time visitors into loyal regulars.

Customers who can access the internet while waiting for their food and beverages to arrive, or even as they eat, will likely be more satisfied with their overall experience. In addition, customers who have access to the internet may be more likely to make impulse purchases or order additional items if they see something that interests them while browsing on your network.

What are the Disadvantages of a Cafe Wifi System?

While free WiFi is a perk that can attract customers to cafes, it can also be a detriment to business. It can cut profits when customers take advantage of the free WiFi and linger for hours without buying anything. Also, if customers use WiFi for heavy bandwidth activities like streaming videos or downloading large files, it can slow down the network for other users and frustrate them.

Free WiFi can also turn out to be a significant expense, particularly if you have many customers using it regularly. This can become problematic, particularly if you don't have a good system for managing user logins and passwords. This can open up your network to security risks.

In addition, offering free WiFi can lead your customers to always expect free internet access. This can lead to dissatisfaction if your Wifi connection is not working well or if there are restrictions on usage.

Therefore, cafe owners must maintain a fine balance between offering free WiFi as an amenity and ensuring that it doesn't hinder business.

How to Select the Right Wifi Platform For Your Business

No matter the size or the theme of the cafe you run, if you offer your customers WiFi, it ought to be good. You need a reliable, high-quality WiFi system to keep your customers connected and happy. But with the numerous options available on the market, how do you decide which is the right system for your business? Here are some of the key features to look for when selecting a WiFi platform-

Ease of use- The platform should be easy to set up and manage without needing technical expertise.
Reliability- The last thing you want is for your WiFi network to go down in the middle of a busy lunch rush. Make sure to choose a provider with a good track record of uptime and reliability.
Pricing- You'll need to consider pricing when making your decision. Compare pricing between different providers and choose one with the best value for money.
Customer engagement- The platform should offer ways to engage and connect with your customers, through social media or loyalty programs for example.
Customization- The platform should allow you to brand the login page and offer customized content.
Scalability- If you are a Small Business, you'll have aspirations to grow. As your business grows, your WiFi needs may change. Choose a platform that can easily scale up to meet your changing needs.
Reporting- The platform should provide detailed reports on usage and analytics so that you can track the success of your WiFi marketing campaign.
Support- Things will inevitably go wrong from time to time. When they do, you'll want access to responsive, helpful customer support staff who can quickly resolve any issues. In addition, the platform provider should offer instant support if you need help setting up or troubleshooting the system.
Security- With all the sensitive data that flows through your restaurant's network, security should be a top priority. Ensure that your chosen platform has robust security features to protect your own data and customer data as well.

Top Wifi Systems For Cafes

Plum Wi-Fi
This restaurant and cafe WiFi solution is easy to install and set up. It can handle a large number of users simultaneously without any issues on a secure and reliable network, with no downtime. The Plum WiFi system is also scalable and can easily accommodate future growth with regards to number of users. Offering high speeds and low latency, it provides a seamless experience for guests streaming videos or using apps with high data usage. Additionally, it has comprehensive reporting and analytics tools so restaurants can track usage and identify customer trends over time. The interface is user-friendly too, enabling cafe staff to manage the system easily.

The advanced quality of service (QoS) of ANTlabs WiFi allows businesses to optimize their available bandwidth. It separates POS and other devices in the store from the free WiFi service for customers, and divides users into different tiers and controls the bandwidth each tier consumes. Irrespective of how you operate -- whether you run a chain of restaurants or multiple cafes in different parts of the city -- ANTlabs lets business owners manage and control their gateways cost-effectively and efficiently.


In today's digital world, it has become increasingly important for businesses to offer WiFi to their customers. Not only does it provide a convenient service for your guests, but it can also lead to increased foot traffic and repeat business. However, offering WiFi can be a double-edged sword; if done incorrectly, it can result in decreased profits and even lead to legal issues.

Research proves that people are more likely to visit businesses that offer free WiFi, and once they're in the door, they tend to stay longer and spend more money. In addition, happy customers are more likely to post positive reviews online, which can help attract even more business.

However, there are some potential downsides too. For example, if you don't have a strong signal or enough bandwidth to support all of your guests, you may end up frustrating them instead of impressing them. In addition, if you don't have the proper security measures in place, you could become liable if someone uses your network to access illegal content or commit cybercrime.

It is therefore important to consider the potential risks before taking the plunge.