All You Can Eat Data: Restaurants Serve Up Best free Wi-Fi in the U.S.

New study from hyperlocal engagement network Popwifi names restaurant chains BJ’s and Olive Garden as providers of best quality shared Wi-Fi.

San Francisco, Calif., March 31st, 2016 — Restaurant and Brewhouse chain BJ’s and Italian dining chain Olive Garden offer the best quality, freely shared Wi-Fi of leading U.S. retail and service brands, a new study has revealed. Restaurants and Fast Food outlets were found to provide the best quality shared Wi-Fi when brands were grouped by sector, followed by department stores, retailers, and grocery stores.

The findings form part of a report released today by Popwifi, the hyperlocal engagement network. The report, ‘Making Connections: Wi-Fi in the U.S. Retail Sector’, ranks the top U.S. retail and service brands for free Wi-Fi, focusing on quality of connection and usage.

Drawing on fully anonymised data from a sample of more than 350,000 Popwifi-enabled smartphones, Popwifi sampled the free Wi-Fi at numerous leading brand locations across the U.S. where those smartphones connected.

More than half of the top 20 brands for shared Wi-Fi quality were restaurant or fast food chains, illustrating just how important wireless connectivity has become to the experience offered by leading U.S. dining brands. Taco Bell, Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, Burger King, Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Wendy’s, Hardee’s, Pizza Hut, and Applebee’s all placed in the top 20.

Big name retailers also returned excellent results, with Lowe’s, Michael’s, and department store Macy’s all placing in the top five for Wi-Fi quality.

“Today’s consumer wants to get good Wi-Fi wherever they go, so it’s great to be able to name some of the brands providing their customers with the best quality, free connectivity,” said Dave Fraser, CEO of Popwifi’s parent company, Devicescape. “But the bigger picture revealed by our study shows an abundance of great Wi-Fi at all sorts of locations. Keeping customers connected has become an essential element of the customer experience for retail and service brands from all sectors.”

The report is the first in the ‘Popwifi Insights’ research series, exploring the availability and usage of shared Wi-Fi.

To download the report visit


Notes to Editors

The brands included in the survey were drawn from the brands whose Wi-Fi was most frequently connected to by the Popwifi sample base over the course of November 2015.

  • In each data point we have included only the top set from this surveyed collection.
  • The absence of a brand from any particular data point does not, therefore, constitute a negative judgment on that brand.
  • For the purposes of this report we have omitted municipal networks and Wi-Fi provided by the transport sector. The term ‘Retail’, for the purposes of this report, covers a range of popular retail and leisure destinations, including stores, restaurants, fast food outlets and healthcare providers.
  • Popwifi has zero visibility of end users’ personal details or identities and is able only to distinguish devices themselves from one another.

About Popwifi

Popwifi is the Hyperlocal Engagement Network — delivering simple, effective engagement in venue, nearby and beyond. We believe customer engagement should be available everywhere and easy for everyone; businesses and customers alike. Popwifi allows businesses to establish branded, location-aware, two-way customer interaction using nothing but their existing Wi-Fi installations.

To learn more visit and follow us on Twitter @popwifi