Punch Taverns has agreed an industry-leading deal with The Cloud to install free WiFi into its tenanted and leased pubs. A significant number of Punch pubs across the UK already have The Cloud’s WiFi installed or have installation dates confirmed. The aim is to complete the programme by the end of March 2013.
Licensees are already seeing the benefits of the free WiFi, with statistics showing high usage levels during daytime, traditionally a quieter period for pubs. Punch is providing free WiFi for two years, with free installation including a support pack from The Cloud to promote the new service. Punch licensees who already have WiFi through The Cloud are being transferred onto the same deal, with all the support and benefits of working with one of the UK’s premier WiFi providers.
Julie Clamp, Machine Development Manager at Punch, said: “This free initiative puts our pubs on a level with managed houses, national coffee and restaurant chains. We have already seen pubs making the most of the opportunity WiFi offers, through introducing meeting space for business users, adding or upgrading a coffee offer to increase dwell time or adding social media followers through use of WiFi. We will be working with our licensees and The Cloud to make the most of the benefits that WiFi offers and to encourage our pubs to capitalise on this industry-leading opportunity.”
Susan King, who has been running the Derwent Arms in Osbaldwick, York for seven years, is really pleased with the free WiFi facility: “I’ve had free WiFi in the pub for just over two months and since it has been installed I’ve definitely seen the benefits,” she said.
“The pub is situated in a small village and the WiFi has been a real help as everyone seems to be connected with the internet nowadays. I see a lot of young people especially, coming in with smartphones and laptops and they tend to stay longer because they can use the internet for free.
“I would definitely recommend it for any pub business. In fact, I believe it is a necessity,” Susan continued.
Vince Russell, Managing Director at The Cloud, said: "As the largest WiFi provider to the pub industry, with nearly 9,000 pubs live on our network, we’re seeing demand for WiFi constantly increase – usage on our network nationwide has doubled in the last 12 months, for example – and Punch is another great example of a company offering a fast and reliable internet connection where customers really value it. Our WiFi also gives pubs a new opportunity to engage with their customers through promotions, offers and advertising on the landing page when customers log on.
“Importantly The Cloud also offers a family-friendly environment by filtering out adult content across our network, so pub customers are able to surf the web with the confidence that their children won’t run the risk of being exposed to inappropriate material."