KFC Australia serves free Wi-Fi to improve customer engagement

Yum! Brands, the parent company of KFC, will be serving free Wi-Fi at KFC restaurants around Australia.

KFC selected solutions from Aruba Networks, Inc. to drive in-store engagement and deliver highly tailored interactions with consumers via a guest access wireless network. To-date, more than 190 KFC restaurants have implemented the Aruba Networks solution, with a view to extending this to all stores nationally.

Driven by consumer demand to access Wi-Fi while dining in-store, both KFC owned and franchisee restaurants are adopting the solution as it provides a new channel to engage with consumers on a highly interactive platform.

On average, a total of 45,000 sessions were recorded on the KFC free Wi-Fi network over a four week period. These sessions consumed 1,711,132 minutes of browsing and 139,197.35MB data transferred. Devices accessing the network include iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets and laptops.

Saqib Hussnain, Enterprise Systems Manager at KFC said customer engagement was important, but the ability to deliver marketing through video ads, or discount offers was also a key driver. With links to a CRM system, these messages could be personalized.

“Following an extensive international vendor review, we approached Aruba Networks in Australia and were impressed by the technology and complete package offered. The solution has been tailor made to minimize operational impact in our stores and we don’t require any additional cabling or wiring because the access point runs over the network.

“The technology allows us to monitor usage and report on the uptake of Wi-Fi in our stores. Feedback from store owners and customers has been very positive as they now have fast access to a high-performance Wi-Fi network,” said Hussnain.

The Aruba Networks ClearPass solution has allowed KFC to deliver a customized guest user experience. This includes KFC branded splash page and skin developed by Aruba, security of Terms and Conditions upon launch and timed sessions with data limits. With one access point per store, ClearPass traffic is securely tunneled via the remote access point to a centralized Aruba controller, which is scanned by KFC’s content filter.

“It is important we extend the family friendly environment in our restaurants through the free Wi-Fi offered,” said Hussnain. “With Aruba Networks, we have been able to incorporate a filter that works seamlessly with the technology and is in keeping with our timed sessions.”

Underpinning the Wi-Fi on premise is Aruba Networks’ AirWave solution that provides KFC with centralized monitoring and reporting. The KFC IT team can view status of all remote access points and controllers. It offers the ability to set alerts in the event of device failure and gives transparency into details such as the number of users connecting, popular locations, data usage, and device types.

Beverly Lu, Vice President, Marketing, Asia Pacific and Japan of Aruba Networks, said the partnership with KFC signals a shift in retail outlets embracing free Wi-Fi as a value-add for consumers.

“Savvy organizations such as KFC understand the need to differentiate in a highly competitive retail environment. The Aruba enterprise Wi-Fi solution provides secure mobility, improved application performance in retail environments, greater ease of integration and deployment, and cost-effective scalability. Delivering solutions such as free in-store Wi-Fi encourages consumer interaction and becomes a valuable marketing platform to an already engaged audience,” said Lu.