Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

Local McDonald's Restaurants Add Free Web Access To Their Menus


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

San Francisco-Three McDonald's restaurants in San Francisco have installed >STREETSPACE Web Stations, allowing their customers to "walk up to the Web" for free. By touching the screen of the stylishly designed Web Stations, customers will have free access to a wide variety of popular Web sites and online services, including, MSN HotMail, City Search,,,, and for San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders content.

"Adding to the >STREETSPACE Web Stations is another way for us to offer our customers an enhanced restaurant experience," says Bob Mendes, a San Francisco-based McDonald's restaurant franchisee. "In addition to giving our customers free access to popular Internet content, it provides us with a great opportunity to connect with our customers in a new way."

Recognizing the increasing need to build a strong presence online, many retailers are calling on >STREETSPACE to help them leverage their physical space to introduce their Web sites to customers. The Web Stations at McDonald's will prominently display a McDonald's-branded Web site with links to contests and promotions, customer feedback, food facts, online job applications, McDonald's merchandise and information on Ronald McDonald House Charities. Making these features available will enable these McDonald's locations to create a two-way dialogue with their customers and provide a fun and enjoyable experience in the restaurant.

"We have always considered McDonald's the perfect venue for our Web Stations," says >STREETSPACE founder Tom Mathai. "McDonald's has over 27,000 restaurants around the world, which are visited by 43 million customers every day. Most of them use the Internet. Our goal is to someday provide free e-mail and Web-based content to all 43 million of those McDonald's customers. So far, the pilot test in the San Francisco area has been a big hit."

Users do not have to pay to use them. To ensure customers do not have to wait long to use a Web Station, there is a 15-minute time limit for each session. Most users stay on a Web Station for about five minutes, quickly checking their e-mail, news summaries or sports scores, or browsing shopping sites.

Since the Web Stations run on a private broadband network, powered by high-speed DSL, users are able to view entertaining, rich media content, including music videos, movie trailers, cartoons and up-to-the-minute news clips. Throughout the ongoing presidential election controversy, McDonald's customers have been able to check in for up-to-the-minute news. -PRNewswire

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks