Wi-Fi Program Catches on at Schlotzsky's

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Austin, Texas-If Schlotzsky's experience withfree Wi-Fi is any indication, this phenomenon will likely spread.Monica Landers, Schlotzsky's director of communications, saidWi-Fi has been installed in 40 of its 600 stores scattered across38 states. "WiFi is a real draw," she said. "Itcreates a friendly buzz in the restaurant. Now we always havepeople there, and that's good. Nobody wants to walk into anempty restaurant."

The Wi-Fi program-along with Schlotzsky's free use ofin-restaurant PCs-is now mandatory for new franchisees. Andmany existing Schlotzsky's proprietors are installing Wi-Fiservice in their sandwich shops. Landers said the chain wasinitially worried that people would "hang around" toolong, but that really hasn't been the case. The lunchtime crowdmoves on quickly to go back to work, and other Wi-Fi users justseem not to linger. She said a survey of Schlotzsky's patronsindicated that six percent visited primarily for the Wi-Fi access.-TechWeb News

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