Industry News | June 28, 2004

Krystal To Offer Free Wireless Access

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Beginning on June 30, more than 50 Krystal restaurants in seven states will offer free wireless internet access for customers.

"The interest and demand for the convenience of high-speed wireless internet access continues to grow," said Fred Exum, chief executive officer, The Krystal Company, in a statement. "Krystal is committed to expanding the availability of free wireless Internet access in our communities. It's giving Krystal customers what they truly want, and they are returning the favor with their continued patronage and loyalty."

Krystal HotSpots use a broadband Internet connection that allows up to 32 users at one time to access the hot spot. Users gain access by searching for "Krystal Hotspot" in the Service Set Identifier (SSID). Currently, the range of the 802.11b system is approximately 150 feet, allowing customers to access the hot spot even in the restaurant parking lot. The company says it will block certain types of potentially objectionable material.

The expansion of Krystal's free in-store Wi-Fi offering comes a year after the successful launch of the first Krystal HotSpot, which was installed at the company's University of Tennessee location in Knoxville. "We had been studying the possibility of a Wi-Fi access point in our restaurants for more than two years," said David Reid, Krystal's chief information officer. "After learning that the entire UT campus would be going Wi-Fi, we decided our campus location would be the perfect place to launch our first hot spot."

As University of Tennessee customers embraced the free HotSpot, Krystal began implementing Wi-Fi access points at several of its restaurants in Tennessee and Georgia while also planning the current seven-state rollout.