Greene King, one of the biggest pub retailers in the UK, has signed a deal with WiFi provider The Cloud to bring free WiFi access to all of its pubs, restaurants and hotels, including the Hungry Horse and Loch Fyne brands – covering up to 2,400 venues around the UK.
A huge increase in demand from customers recently has convinced the pub chain to extend The Cloud’s WiFi service from the 300 pubs installed since the start of the year to all 1,000 of its managed premises. In addition Greene King will also offer The Cloud’s free public WiFi to its 1,400 leased and tenanted premises as part of the same agreement, offering fast, reliable internet access to the growing numbers of its customers who own smartphones.
WiFi will be completely free to customers in all Greene King pubs, restaurants and hotels, with no time constraints, letting them catch the latest news headlines, watch video services such as YouTube and Sky Go, use Facebook and Twitter, email or simply browse the web. The service will be available in pubs, restaurants and hotels from this summer.
The WiFi installed in the first 300 Greene King pubs has been very popular. Over 5 million megabytes of data were downloaded on the network in these pubs in April alone, the equivalent of over 7,000 movies or 1.25 million songs. The Cloud’s data found that 57% of WiFi users in Greene King venues are on iPhones and 22% are on other smartphones. Nationally, it is estimated that when watching live sport in a pub, 30% of smartphone users visit social media sites.
The deal with Greene King adds to the 5,000 pubs already on The Cloud’s WiFi network, making it by far the biggest provider of WiFi to Britain’s pubs. Other pub retailers who already offer WiFi from The Cloud include JD Wetherspoon, Spirit Pub Company and Stonegate Pub Company.
Peter Groves, Group Commercial Director from Greene King said: “We’ve seen more and more people use WiFi in our pubs in the last 12 months and it is was clear to us that we needed to introduce it to all of our pubs, restaurants and hotels. It helps us attract a wider audience across the day, including at traditionally quieter times, as well as providing the infrastructure we can use for new services that improve customer satisfaction and loyalty over the longer term. We have been delighted with the service that The Cloud have provided, so they seemed the natural partner to roll out across our estate”
Vince Russell, Managing Director of The Cloud, said: “We are delighted to extend our relationship with Greene King reinforcing our position as the provider of choice for fast, reliable WiFi access in the nation’s favourite pubs. As tablet and smartphone penetration continues to climb so customers increasingly demand great connectivity whether to keep in touch with emails, sharing the excitement of great sporting moments via social media or even keeping the kids entertained. We look forward to working with Greene King and our other partners as we continue to deliver new innovative services for them and more importantly their customers.”
The Cloud now has over 10,000 hotspots around the UK. An estimated 4m people every day pass through The Cloud network by visiting one of its partners, including major outlets like Pizza Express, Caffè Nero, Eat, Pret A Manger and Wagamama, as well as First Great Western trains and Network Rail stations.
I can see a lot of people using the excuse of needing free WiFi to visit their local – good luck with that one!