In a Nutshell, Free WiFi Can Be a Win-Win for Hotels and Guests

NEWPORT BEACH, CA—It’s a no-brainer that access to WiFi is key to guest satisfaction, but what’s in it for the business owner? Bryan Lewis, COO of Nutshell WiFi, asked the same question and sought out a solution that would be a win-win for both sides.

“The inspiration for Nutshell WiFi came out of pure frustration with my personal experiences. I’m a big believer that nothing should be given for free. So many small local businesses offer free WiFi to their customers, but they don’t get anything out of it,” said Lewis, who has a background in multi-industry tech start-ups. “As an entrepreneur, I’m used to late nights and early mornings working in coffee shops. I frequented so many small mom-and-pop coffee shops, but I’d forget which ones they were and end up trying new ones instead of becoming a loyal customer to one. If the coffee shops had collected my information, they would have easily been able to get me back in the door. I recognized the lost opportunity and wanted to fill this need.”

Nutshell WiFi is now a solution for the hospitality industry, enabling hotels, restaurants and bars to offer free WiFi to customers while collecting data—who they are, what they want and what keeps them coming back.

“Nutshell WiFi is a turnkey solution that works exactly the same for hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, bars, medical offices and whoever else can benefit from offering their customers WiFi in exchange for analytics,” he said. “Once Nutshell WiFi arrives in the mail, business owners design their data capture portal with their own branding—it’s much easier with the Nutshell dashboard than it sounds—and there’s no coding or programming experience necessary.”

Users can log in and see the analytics, including demographic information, who is online and more. Then, users can create an automated marketing promotion to push real-time alerts to the people who are logged in to the WiFi, and continue bringing them back in, which builds customer loyalty.

For hotels, the company offers a soup-to-nuts approach to handling everything from the onboarding process to ongoing customer service.

“Hotels and shopping malls are much larger than typical small businesses, so properties receive Nutshell Enterprise, which is a cloud-based software placing hotspots strategically around the property,” he said. “Support is available 24/7. For the typical Nutshell WiFi user, you’ll receive a personal contact at Nutshell, who walks you through the on-boarding process and is available to answer your questions and troubleshoot.”

What makes Nutshell WiFi’s services stand out from the rest? It’s the ability to scale, according to Lewis. “Our competitors are designed for smaller, local businesses only. They don’t have the pricing structure or infrastructure to work with chains or large businesses.”

The company has more than 50 clients in its roster, including restaurants like Acquolina in San Francisco; Stag Bar + Kitchen and Malarky’s Irish Pub in Newport Beach, CA; Blanc Beauty Bar in New Orleans; Al Fiori and Vaucluse in New York City; and the Courtyard Marriott Miami West/Florida Turnpike in Miami.

“We’re revolutionizing marketing for the hospitality industry by creating our own market segment, called WiFi marketing. This burgeoning industry is worth billions of dollars,” he said. “Think about all the apps and software created to help consumers find free WiFi when they’re out and about. We’ve figured out how to monetize this practical industry with analytics, data capture, social media growth and loyalty marketing.”

On tap for 2018, Nutshell WiFi will have enhancements and new features.

“We just released a redesigned dashboard interface that boasts more real-time data, faster load speeds and more analytics,” he said. “We’re also heads-down finishing up beta testing of two new features. Expect to hear more in January.”