Why Do Some Coffee Shops Still Not Offer WiFi?

May 10, 2016

2:00 pm

This article is sponsored by Comcast Business, but all opinions belong to the author.

The opportunity to work remotely is one of the most-demanded perks in today’s job market. Indeed, according to a survey conducted last January, it’s the top employee perk that people want from their current (and next) job. And this demand is reflected in our reality – with telecommuting jumping to 37 percent in the United States (four times greater than the 1995 figure of 9 percent). Yet, despite this quickly-settling norm, I still don’t understand why some coffee shops don’t offer WiFi. By using WiFi services like Comcast Business’s new WiFi Pro, small- and medium-sized business owners can get better insight on their customers’ preferences and buying habits, as well as prepare more strategically when it comes to managing their inventory, staffing, and hours of operation. Plus, if you’re not offering WiFi, I’m secretly hating you (and so is everyone else that walks through your door).


Your standard view at any and every coffeeshop or cafe offering WiFi (a very real picture taken from another day).

A Widening Customer Base

Even in a city like Chicago – where freelancers and remote workers roam free – it can sometimes be hard to find a place to sit down and work. As a full-time remote worker, it’s definitely nice to get the chance to work from home, but during half the work week, I definitely prefer working remotely from a coffee shop, cafe or bookstore. And, of course, one those days, I find myself working from someplace that offers WiFi (because, duh, I can’t do anything otherwise).

This market desire is apparent throughout – with websites built to help consumers determine which stores or businesses offer WiFi (this site, for example, curates a list of which coffee shops in X city offers WiFi). Even on discovery apps like Foursquare and Yelp, you’ll find autocomplete searches that include “WiFi” or “free WiFi”. If your coffee shop or business doesn’t have WiFi, you really shouldn’t be surprised if you find yourself with less customers than your next door competitor who does.


A simple search for the term “WiFi” on venue discovery apps like Yelp or Foursquare reveals the consumer demand for businesses offering WiFi.

The Benefits to Offering WiFi

The people are thirsty for WiFi – that’s undeniable. As a remote worker, I run into the same crowd of people at certain coffee shops or cafes – a sign that those businesses have each created a loyal customer base on which they can rely day-to-day. And, really, in our hyper-competitive world, that fact is something to which only a small percentage of businesses can lay claim.

But aside from a loyal following, there’s potential for coffee shops, retail stores, and other businesses to actively engage with and learn about their customers. Comcast Business’s new WiFi Pro, gives you the tools to learn more about your customers and their buying habits – allowing you to think more strategically about how to run your business.

Have a special event coming up at our store? Offering a special discount on certain products or food? You can relay all of that information directly to your customers right on your custom landing page. And if you haven’t yet noticed through our smartphone addiction, consumers are more willing to engage with you online than through real-life; I’m more inclined to act when you present a discount to me on a digital screen than I man when you hand me a flyer.

Why Comcast Business WiFi Pro

Aside from professional installation, advanced security features, and access to millions of hotspots across the country, Comcast Business WiFi Pro offers:

Dual WiFi Networks

With Comcast Business WiFi Pro, your business has access to two WiFi networks: a private one for employees and a second one for customers. By having this option, Comcast Business gives you the ability to control the strength of each WiFi signal. Prepping for a lunchtime rush? You can simply boost the customer WiFi during those lunchtime hours to ensure your customers are satisfied.


You can control your WiFi simply through a mobile app. An online portal gives you easy access, allowing you to better manage your WiFi – something that often proves to be a hassle for anyone.

Custom Landing Page

You can create a custom landing page fit to your business’s goals. By offering this, you get automatic increased engagement with your customers and more opportunities to potentially increase revenue.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.