Taco Bell jumping on Wi-Fi bandwagon, will have free access by 2015

taco bellWant a Chalupa? Want free Wi-Fi? Pretty soon you won’t have to choose between the two since Taco Bell is looking at providing Wi-Fi access in all of the chain’s restaurants. The move would allow the Mexican fast food purveyor into a realm filled with the likes of Starbucks and McDonalds.

Taco Bell Crop announced in a recent press release that it will be partnering with indoorDirect to install in-store television network as well as the free Wi-Fi in all 5,600 Taco Bells by the year 2015.

IndoorDIRECT Inc., owns the Restaurant Entertainment Network which offers offers sports segments, movie, TV and video game previews as well as shopping tips and news. Taco Bell says the network will reach 48 million taco loving customers each month.

The Restaurant Entertainment Network is the same service you will find at Carl’s Jr., KFC, Denny’s, Arby’s and other food chains. The indoorDirect company claims their REN entertains 150 million Americans annually while they dine at quick-service restaurants. Besides the television programing, Taco Bell customers will be encouraged to interact with the network by downloading music from the show, receiving opt in text messages and engage in social media campaigns.

The Mexican fast food chain is a mite late to the field, as McDonalds will have its Wi-Fi program running for at least 7 years by the time Taco Bell is done installing in 2015. McDonalds provide free Wi-Fi at 11,500 US locations. Starbucks has had free and unlimited Wi-Fi for a year, with paid Wi-Fi for customers prior to that. According to the AFP, Burger King also announced last year it will begin offering free Wi-Fi in all of its 2,200 locations in Europe, including the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.

Free Wi-Fi is a great draw for these business, much like the way movie theaters worked air conditioning to their advantage before AC was widespread. Taco Bell may be the latest to adopt this trend, but late night soft tacos and internet just seem to go so well we wonder why they didn’t jump on it sooner.

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