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Internet Access With A Side of Fries

Oct 20, 2007
McDonalds Inc, best known for its famed golden arches, burgers, clown pitchman, and French fries, is now hoping to be known for something else technology.

The company currently offers WiFi access in several of its restaurants, including several in the UK and the US, but these services are not free, and keeping up with big coffee, ie Starbucks, requires more than just a java bean upgrade and a redesign of restaurant color schemes. Several UK McDonalds locations are now offering free WiFi access to complement the fast food giant's entry into the elite group or restaurants that combine food and drink with IM, video streaming, and email.

Inside a restaurant location, connecting, according to the McDonald's corporate website, is simple. When in the McDonald's restaurant says the site, just turn on your computer, or PDA, and open the Internet browser. You will be pointed to the McDonald's splash page where you can select your connection option.

Currently, the connection price is about three dollars for two hours of service, and payment must be made via a subscription or pre paid card from Wayport, the company's service provider, or purchased online.

Many restaurants, including McDonalds, offer versions of their menus online, and with the average person spending anywhere from four to twelve hours per day surfing the Internet, online menus seem to be the best way to allow customers easy access to a restaurant's food and drink offerings.

This move by McDonalds comes at the same time as a revamping of the chain's fast food menu to include more lowfat, healthy alternatives, like new salads and chicken sandwiches. The company's corporate website details what they term Worldwide corporate responsibility, under headings like balanced active lifestyles, Responsible purchasing, People, and Places.

Nutritional information, suggestions for an active lifestyle and pictures of smiling, happy children playing various sports and ordering food at the McDonalds counter accompany the site content. Many restaurants, in response to growing childhood obesity rates, have been offering healthy, low fat, menu options to their customers, while still promoting the old fast food standbys.

When business professionals take their lunch hours nibbling their burgers and salads, sipping their free trade coffee, and checking their emails, the fast food giant is hoping that this technologically savvy Gen X and Gen Y demographic will choose to do so under the yellow glow of the same golden arches they no doubt remember from their childhood Happy Meals.
About the Author
Terry Parker is a reporter and editor for Internet Marketing Company SEOHaus
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