Molson Coors offers wifi to bars with benefits


Brewer Molson Coors has teamed up with a leading software specialist to provide wifi services for bars and pubs that allow licensees to engage with their customers.

It is running a trial in 20 venues across the UK for the Molson Coors Cloud, which is a cloud-based wifi solution developed with software company Purple WiFi.

Available to bars and pubs where Molson Coors brands are stocked, it features a secure gated access point through which licensees can engage with their customers directly to build loyalty and provide them promotions and information.

Gavin Wheeldon, chief executive of Purple WiFi, added: “The drinks industry was one of the first to recognise the demand for free wifi. Over the past few years there has been a noticeable increase in the number of pubs that provide a wifi hotspot for their customers. But the supply still isn’t meeting demand and wifi is often unsecured, whilst offering little or no benefit to the venue.

“Molson Coors is paving the way within the drinks industry, turning that situation on its head by providing free wifi and getting something tangible in return.”

When a bar’s customer logs in, they will be given the choice of how to access the free wifi – either by filling in a short form or through one of their social media accounts. When a customer logs in using social media, the venue can ask for a Facebook “like” or a Twitter follow.

Users must agree to the terms and conditions, allowing the following data to be collected during log-in: name, age, gender, location, email address and mobile number.

By accessing the wife, the customer provides their consent to the venue to access some of the information captured during the log-in process. This information is stored securely in the portal and can be used by the venue to view insights and analytics about their customers.

All data is stored in line with all legislation and best practice and can be used by the venue.

Alpesh Mistry, Molson Coors customer marketing director, said: “Being a significant on-trade supplier that continues to have a direct relationship with our customers, we know publicans are looking for new modern ways to drive sales.

“The idea of having a resource that would capture customer data and then use this to attract these pubgoers back would have historically been left to those with significant time and budget. By creating Molson Coors Cloud, our hope is we are enabling any of our customers to have this ability.”

The trial is being carried out in the 20 venues for six months, after which Molson Coors hopes to launch it to all its customers across the UK, backed up with clear analysis of the benefits.

One of the trial venues is Backyard Bar & Kitchen and Backyard Comedy Club in Bethnal Green, east London. Its general manager Daniel Dearlove said: “The Molson Coors wifi portal is already driving more traffic to our free wifi service and the marketing opportunities it enables are easy to implement and helping us to engage in new ways with our customer base.

“With a better understanding of our customers, we can also identify new markets for our events and improve the service we offer, resulting in increased numbers of returning customers.”

The trial has been set up using TP-LINK wireless equipment running custom Purple WiFi firmware, enabling remote management using a web-interface.

The TP-LINK dual band router, WDR3600, is an affordable, high-power and feature-rich solution that comes pre-configured with Purple WiFi’s technology, resulting in a cloud-managed wifi access point. This gives Molson Coors and the participating bars and pubs the peace of mind that, in the cloud, TP-LINK could replicate what could be achieved with more expensive products. It also means that they can configure, diagnose and troubleshoot remotely.

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