Restaurants step up to the plate to draw customers

It was an easy choice for Trish Hertog: Pay $12.95 a day to surf the Web at her hotel, or log on free at Starbucks.

She chose Starbucks.

“Before I even walked in the door to Starbucks, I checked to see if it had the sign up that says ‘free Wi-Fi,'” said Hertog, of Minneapolis, who was in Columbus on a business trip.

“Any place that I choose to eat or go, it has to have free Wi-Fi, or I won’t go,” she said as she sipped her coffee. “I even bought something here because I kind of felt obligated since I’m sitting here using their Wi-Fi.”

It seems that Wi-Fi has become an expected free amenity at restaurants and coffee shops – and companies that want to keep customers are providing the service.

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