Though Thayer had extensive IT experience, he hadn’t deployed a guest Wi-Fi system for a restaurant before. He noticed that other fast-food restaurants used third party Wi-Fi companies, but they were priced quite high.
His research eventually led him to Open Mesh; he liked what he saw.
“It was scalable, I could manage it in the cloud, and it was priced extremely well,” he said.
But the killer feature, said Thayer, was the network management that included splash pages he could customize to fit Wendy’s brand. “We simply could not have accomplished this project if it weren’t for this.”
Thayer installed the first Wendy’s location in Mt. Home, Idaho. He started by adding a single Open Mesh access point into the free, cloud-based network controller, CloudTrax. He then set the public network name (SSID), designed a Wendy’s brand-compliant splash page, set bandwidth limits for each guest, and provided additional network customization—all in a few minutes.
At that point, he simply connected the access point to a router and power, and the system was live.
The initial response was excellent.
“The owner told me, ‘It works great, and it’s fast!’” said Thayer. “He was really impressed.“
Taking advantage of Open Mesh’s cloud architecture and ability to scale rapidly, Thayer was able to deploy additional locations even faster and easier than the first. Each additional access point was simply added to the CloudTrax network: the splash page and network management options were automatically downloaded to the new access point almost immediately.
“We installed the access points in the back of the manager’s offices but had full coverage of the entire lobby and outside areas,” said Thayer. “In every location, a single access point provided all the coverage and performance we needed.
With CloudTrax, Thayer can make changes across all networks in minutes, monitor traffic and usage in real time, and get notified automatically if anything isn’t quite right. But so far, the Open Mesh networks have performed perfectly.
“Callbacks cost money,” said Thayer. “So far, we have had zero callbacks on any Open Mesh related products.”
Thayer says that store managers and Wenco ownership could not be happier with the service, and he’s already been approached by a number of other restaurants to provide a similar solution.
“Having the confidence that we do in this product makes it so easy to sell and feel good about,” he said. “With Open Mesh as our solution, we have a very strong ability to compete on a large scale.”