UK pub chain teams up with O2 for free Wi-Fi roll-out


Mitchells & Butlers plans to offer free Wi-Fi to customers in its pubs and restaurants after inking a deal with O2.

Some 1,600 venues including Toby Carvery, All Bar One and O'Neills will all benefit from the new service, which will provide free Wi-Fi to customers regardless of who their mobile contract is with.

The roll-out will kick off this summer with 199 Harvester restaurants and be extended to the rest of the chain by the end of 2012.

Wi-Fi should be about accessing the internet quickly, seamlessly and, most importantly, where people want to use it.

"The sign-up process is the same in M&B venues as it is at any other O2 Wi-Fi venue, although clearly if you've already registered for O2 W-Fi at another venue you don't have to re-register here," an O2 spokesperson told IT Pro

"At sign-up, customers are asked for their mobile number which is then verified via a code sent by text. Then it's standard user information; title, name, email address, date of birth [and] postcode."

Gavin Franks, managing director of O2 Wi-Fi, added: "Wi-Fi should be about accessing the internet quickly, seamlessly and, most importantly, where people want to use it. That is why this partnership - with the leading operator of restaurants and pubs in the UK - is such an exciting one."

Franks said there were future plans to give users of the Wi-Fi and customers of the pub special deals following the sign-up process, such as a free pint with your free connection.

"Everyday in each of our businesses my teams provide great guest experiences and the availability of free Wi-Fi will give us a further opportunity to enhance this," said Robin Young, Mitchells & Butlers' operations director.

"We already know that people love to eat and drink with us and whether guests visit to relax over breakfast, brunch or dinner, work away from the office, or have a beer with friends and colleagues, we know from talking to them that free and easy to use Wi-Fi is something they want in the restaurant and pub environment."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.