McDonald’s to Offer Free McWi-Fi

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Fast food giant McDonald's is planning on dropping fees for accessing the Internet via Wi-Fi in its restaurants in January, 2010. The company will be offering free wireless Internet access as part of a move to make its locations feel more like a "hang out" location instead of a fast hamburger joint, according to the Wall Street Journal.

McDonald's is currently charging US$2.95 for two hours of wireless Internet access at 11,000 if its U.S. locations. The company will continue to partner with AT&T for in-restaurant Wi-Fi.

The plan is to use free Wi-Fi as a tool to encourage customers to stay in the restaurants between meals and hopefully buy McCafe coffee drinks and the new line of smoothies and frappes.

"We're becoming a destination and free wi-fi just naturally fits," commented David Grooms, McDonald's Chief Information Officer. "This is another long-term investment that we see helps McDonald's stay relevant as a brand in the marketplace."

The decision to offer free wireless Internet access could be a move on McDonald's part to compete with Starbucks and other coffee chains for between meal customers.

McDonald's plans to roll out its free Wi-Fi program in mid January across the United States.

Comments

cramar

Wonder if this will be coming in Canada too?

Tiger

Bout McTime!

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

They’d also do well to have outdoor seating where the teenagers can smoke instead of at the entrances on in the parking lot.

Tiger

Yeah, that’s good. enabling teenagers to break the law. that would be smart. At least in my state, you have to be 18 or older to purchase tobacco. And I know somebody who’s got more than one arrest for it at 16 already. I don’t think McDonald’s wants to open that can of worms and have to have monitoring. And yeah, 18 an 19 are still in the teens, but is it really worth the company’s time to have to monitor it if they do provide such a space? Our ATF agency would be all over that.

bdplatts

Not in Canada anytime soon

geoduck

Yeah, that?s good. enabling teenagers to break the law. that would be smart. At least in my state, you have to be 18 or older to purchase tobacco.

Tobacco? Breaking the law? Where did that come from.
Not kidding or being snarky, I really don’t know how you made the connection between WiFi and underage smoking..

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

geoduck has me blocked. This is gonna be even more fun now! +10 points to anyone who posts a few sentences about unicorns and the Apple Tablet.

Tiger

Geoduck. It came from Bosco. He knows you’ve blocked him.

Here’s his post….

Bosco said on December 16th, 2009 at 10:41 AM:

They?d also do well to have outdoor seating where the teenagers can smoke instead of at the entrances on in the parking lot.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Gee thanks Tiger. I suppose you’re gonna tell everyone how Santa Claus isn’t real and that the original Ronald McDonald was actually Willard Scott in a clown costume.

dhp

I’m surprised more fast food places aren’t doing this. It can only bring them more business. I just wish it went into effect before the 12+ hour drive I have to do at the end of December.

rpaege

If MacD’s is smart, it will ban smoking anywhere on its property.

furbies

I’m fairly sure we have “free” internet access at YuckyDonalds here in Australia.

ps: Best wishes to all for the festive season…

XSemper Idem5

I discovered they had AT&T Wi-Fi by accident when I turned on my iPod touch and it found the network. No sign letting customers know it’s even there.
McD’s just doesn’t say “hang-out” to me. It’s usually full of screaming kids and loud teenagers. Other than to quickly check my email, I won’t be hanging-out there. 
But if people are willing to hang out there then it should be good for business.
Starbucks also has AT&T Wi-Fi so I’ve never paid for Wi-Fi.

Nookster

Had this in the UK for a couple of years now, I took it for granted that the US had it for free too.

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