There's also a lot of interest among restaurateurs in building an email marketing database and social media following to market to over time.
Because both marketing approaches involve the internet, it only makes sense to fuse the two together and create a mobile, location-based marketing platform.
That's a big buzzword but it's simply this...
Present guests with a wi-fi splash page (one click access to the internet) that doesn't require guests to create an account or login (with a username and password) because that's how free access works generally speaking and you want to be competitive with completely open access providers.
On that login page, you have a golden, reoccurring opportunity to solicit your guests email address and / or invite them to follow your business page on Facebook or Twitter.
Once you have an opt-in subscriber, you have the instant ability to market to your very best prospects for future business - your past guests.
As the saying goes, it's easier and cheaper to sell more to an existing customer than it to to acquire a new one.
With regards to new customer acquisition, there are a number of large online hotspot directories where prospective wireless guests will go to find wireless hotspots within their geographic proximity.
Most if not all of them are free to obtain a listing in.
Once they've visited your location and hopefully opted into your email marketing newsletter and / or social media networks, you can pretty much bring them back on-demand by posting special offers etc.
What's great about email and to an even greater extent Facebook and Twitter is the concept of viral marketing which simply means, your existing customers bring you new customers at zero cost.
it's the secret growth strategy behind most of the internet's most successful businesses like Facebook and Twitter.
As it pertains to email, if your coupon / special offer is sufficiently interesting, your guest may feel compelled to forward it to a few of their friends.
If that process were to continue, you would have the makings of a viral marketing chain reaction (think chain letters and pyramid schemes).
To put that into perspective, the average open rate for restaurant opt-in email marketing communications is 160% because guests forward coupons to their friends etc...
On a much larger scale, Facebook has a "like" link associated with each user's post (Twitter has a similar link called "retweet").
If you can get past the silly names, there's a very powerful marketing concept at work here which you can leverage for potentially massive results.
If you create a post which is "remarkable" meaning that your followers might feel inclined to make remarks about it, you have the makings of a zero-cost, viral marketing explosion because...
when one of your followers "likes" your post, all their friends instantly find out about it through Facebook / Twitter's news feed.
If even 2 of those people (the average Facebook user has 120 friends), also "like / retweet" your comment, that process can go on almost forever and reach thousands of people.
And don't think it can't happen, I read about a Restaurant owner recently who increased his business by 40% in a matter of days due to a particularly urgent post.
There's a link to the Channel 13 news story on my blog at http://www.