McDonalds got to where it is (36,000 local restaurants serving 69 million people in more than 100 countries) by meeting its customer definition of value and by ensuring that there is not a long wait between the time you order and the time you bite into a Quarter Pounder (the “‘fast” in fast food). But can the same be said for its WiFi service?
The value proposition is a no-brainer from a cost perpective since Mickey D’s offers free WiFi at its restaurants around the world including more than 11,500 participating hot spot restaurants in the U.S.
As for speed, recently Rotten WiFi, a public WiFi and 3G/4G watchdog, examined the quality of McDonald’s internet service. Rotten WiFi offers a free app that lets you measure and rate the connection of any WiFi hotspot based on an online speed test, and then aggregates this data. According to Rotten WiFi, its users have measured WiFi speed at McDonald’s in 36 countries. Results differ significantly depending on where the measurements were taken. McDonald’s provides the fastest WiFi in Austria with the avg. download speed of 5.05 Mbps while its slowest speed is recorded in Ireland – average download reaches only 0.07 Mbps.
Examining McDonald’s in the U.S. users of the Rotten WiFi app report that WiFi speed in different states varies quite a bit. The fastest McDonald’s WiFi is in Vermont with avg. download speed of 3.92 Mbps and an upload speed of 0.99 Mbps. Kentucky was second recording a 3.78 Mbps average download speed and 1.73 Mbps average upload speed.. New Jersey is the state where the home of the Big Mac has slowest WiFi, with an average recorded download speed of just 0.10 Mbps.
While the U.S. WiFi speed sampled by Rotten WiFi users shows great inconsistency, an earlier assessment conducted by OpenSignal, a UK-based wireless signal data aggregator and app provider, shows it has faster WiFi than many other public in-store networks. According to data collected from OpenSignal users in 2014, the download speed at McDonald’s was 4.187 Mbps, more than twice as fast as three other chain restaurants featured in the study: Dunkin Donuts, Tim Horton’s, and Panera Bread. Among other types of retailers the electronics gear purveyor Best Buy had the second-fastest public Wi-Fi among retailers, with an average download speed of 3.879 Mbps.
For sheer speed a Starbucks in Kansas City located at the corner of 41 St.. and Main St. now has the fastest WiFi at any Starbucks in the U.S because it was the first to be connected directly to Google Fiber, so anyone visiting the store can get fast Internet with their Pumpkin Spice Latte. Google Fiber claims speeds of up to 1 Gbps.
At this Starbucks in Kansas City community tables come equipped with Chromebooks connected directly to Google Fiber.