Starting in January, McDonald's will offer free wireless Internet in 11,000 locations through a partnership with AT&T Wireless. The promotion is intended to encourage customers to spend time in the restaurants during nonprime times of day and to boost sales and popularity of its new coffee menu items.
According to the article, McDonald's is also planning new menu items like smoothies to appeal to customers during "snack" times. It's not the first time the fast food chain has offered free WiFi to customers, but I'm interested to see if the introduction of new menu items plus the free WiFi encourages the "coffeehouse" feel the restaurant seems to be going after.
I'm not sure how I feel about McDonald's branding itself as a destination for Internet use — especially given all of the unhealthy menu options. Though it would be nice if the free access in Mickey D's sets a precedent for other restaurants.