Recently McDonald’s made it’s Wi-Fi Internet service available free in around 12,000 locations in the United States. This trend is has been growing over the last few years, and now Starbucks has decided to go in on the deal in its locations in the United States and Canada.
Starbucks hopes to encourage patrons to stay longer and purchase more products through offering free Wi-Fi. Over the last year coffee sales have been way down as the economy has driven consumers to make their own drinks at home. As a result Starbucks has had to close down a large number of its smaller stores.
The free Wi-Fi service at Starbucks is welcome to customers who utilize various venues to operate their own ventures. Those who just want to visit for coffee and socializing are concerned they may not have a place to sit as tables are taken for long periods of time.
Many coffee shops already offer free Wi-Fi, including Borders, Tulley’s, and various locally owned businesses. While there may be less seats available in certain locations, the company could increase its product sales and keep customers coming back for more. It doesn’t look like free Wi-Fi will be going out of style anytime soon.
That may be the easy answer, but can Indy put together a destination-based light rail and improved transit/bus system enough to make a diference and help conference business, our image, low income bus travelers? I think the answer there is a resounding yes’. Transit is only going to become more important as energy prices rise and the City’s investment in the convention center, stadium, and hotels are realized.