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McDonald's eliminates Wi-Fi fees, and looks to go head-to-head with Starbucks

McDonald's has confirmed it will eliminate the current $2.95 fee customers must pay for two hours of internet service when they visit a local restaurant. The fee will be waived starting sometime next month, with 11,000 McDonald's restaurants currently offering Wi-Fi supported by AT&T. 

The restaurant has 14,000 domestic restaurants, and is the largest Wi-Fi network among restaurants in the U.S.

"We're not just about hamburgers," said Dave Grooms, McDonald's CIO, in an statement to the AP.  "We are about convenience and all kinds of value.  McDonald's is about value -- value in our food, value in our services.  It's a natural fit."

Company officials hope free Wi-Fi will help draw customers to visit a local restaurant during less crowded times, and will purchase McCafe coffee drinks or regular meals.  Over the years, the restaurant has tried to transform from a traditional fast food restaurant into a local hangout -- and free Wi-Fi is the company's latest step.

McDonald's is preparing to engage in a Wi-Fi battle with Starbucks and other major chains that offer Wi-Fi access -- it's not uncommon to see coffee drinkers sitting in Starbucks and Peet's using their laptops while sipping on coffee.  Starbucks offers two hours of internet service for $3.99, and has around 11,000 locations.



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Free is good!!
By Lunyone on 12/16/2009 8:17:12 AM , Rating: 2
Free Wifi is good, but it won't make me visit anymore than I do (except for the Redbox's there). This might persuade others, but for me, it doesn't change much at all. In a bind I might sit outside and use the wifi to check emails on the road, but that is about it for me.




RE: Free is good!!
By Bender 123 on 12/16/2009 8:38:53 AM , Rating: 2
With three little girls (all 6 and under...I need to get started on that mancave) I end up at McDonalds more than I care to be, which is any number more than zero.

The kids love the playland, I hate McDonalds, so any way my Hero can jump off 3G service and on to WiFi sounds like a winner. I am glad they are expanding free service beyond the Nintendo DS and Zune (Why they did those is still out of my reach).

I do not know why more businesses do not offer free WIFI. Barnes and Noble and Buffalo Wild Wings offer it, and I always end up hanging around those places longer with a good internet connection...


RE: Free is good!!
By Lunyone on 12/16/2009 8:42:46 AM , Rating: 2
I would hang around McDonalds more if my kids were younger, but mine are teenagers and they don't want to waste anymore time in any particular place (they'd rather spend their time at home). I think any business that wants to attract more customers or at least get them to hang around and possibly buy something from their store would offer free wifi. It only makes common sense these days, if you ask me.


RE: Free is good!!
By Dorkyman on 12/16/2009 11:23:09 AM , Rating: 2
As a Qwest DSL customer, I now have free WiFi at McDonalds and Starbucks. I, too, am surprised that businesses don't tout free WiFi as a means of getting customers into the store and then keeping them there to buy more munchies as they surf.

Of course, assuming the business has the seating capacity necessary. Otherwise, it's a losing proposition.


RE: Free is good!!
By Lord 666 on 12/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: Free is good!!
By Kurz on 12/16/2009 9:12:51 AM , Rating: 2
There is a higher chance of getting fat by going to Mcdonalds. However there was a study if you pay attention to what you eat and how much you eat you can actually lose weight by eating there.

There was a study about it.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8916080/
That link is just one example.


RE: Free is good!!
By Kurz on 12/16/2009 9:20:42 AM , Rating: 3
Forgot to put this in.

Moral of the story is you are the sole responisble party when it comes to your health. Its your responsiblity to teach your children how regulate their own health.

You can't blame a company for selling you a product.
If you still hate Mcdonalds vote with your money.


RE: Free is good!!
By nafhan on 12/16/2009 10:44:14 AM , Rating: 2
Plus, if you have your kids run around in the playland for 30-40 minutes after eating, they are actually getting some good excercise out of the deal.
FWIW, if your main reason for visiting is the playground, Chickfila tends to have cleaner play equipment and a lot of them have free wi-fi, too.


RE: Free is good!!
By Spivonious on 12/16/2009 9:15:26 AM , Rating: 2
I eat at McDonalds about once a week and I'm not fat. I'm pretty skinny actually. 5'10", 140 lbs.


RE: Free is good!!
By jonmcc33 on 12/16/2009 9:31:40 AM , Rating: 3
I'd worry more about the health of the food that you are eating there as opposed to the risk of gaining any weight. I worked at McDonalds for 2 years when I was a teenager. I've seen everything of what is done to the food there by the employees.

Meat falls on the floor? Pick it up and put it on the bun to get served. Sick employee preparing the food and sneezing all over it. Employees that smoke and don't wash their hands before preparing food. Meat that isn't cooked to proper temperature that is still pulled off the grill bloody and sent out to customers. Plastic lids that fall into the cooking oil and dissolve yet the fries are still cooked in it and served. Meat that sits too long in the warmers and turns into tough leather yet still served to customers. Angry employees spitting entire wads of snot filled spit onto a sandwich of some customer that they don't like.

It's minimum wage employees so you get minimum wage cooking and quality of food.


RE: Free is good!!
By Spivonious on 12/16/2009 9:38:00 AM , Rating: 5
I'm willing to bet that you'd see the same sort of crap going on in a 5-star restaurant.

If you're that worried about your food, then you better just make it yourself at home.


RE: Free is good!!
By BansheeX on 12/17/2009 7:29:39 AM , Rating: 2
It also depends on the store. I worked at a fast food restaurant for years in high school and it always had good management. I never saw anyone spit in food or use fallen patties. There are cameras everywhere now, unlike the 60s. Like you said, it's probably more likely to happen from a disgruntled waiter you're being a dick to.

As for McDonald's food itself, I would be more concerned about the loads of preservatives in their bready things. And don't expect tasty grass fed beef, expect really low grade beef fed soy refuse and pumped with growth hormones whose only taste comes from the loads of salt they add to it.


RE: Free is good!!
By BansheeX on 12/17/2009 7:31:04 AM , Rating: 2
Really, an automatic rate down for having the word "d1ck" in my text? Wow, dailytech. That's hardcore.


RE: Free is good!!
By mindless1 on 12/17/2009 8:56:38 AM , Rating: 2
... but then you don't know what has happened to it before or at the grocery store.

Fast food is actually safer than homemade, because if there is a problem there were dozens if not hundreds of customer-samplers there before you any given day (unless you're the early bird but some McD's are now open 24/7), while at home you may be the first or simultaneous consumer of something tainted.


RE: Free is good!!
By lazylazyjoe on 12/23/2009 3:59:45 AM , Rating: 2
So... then the answer is grow your own food, and butcher your own meat. Then you'll be ok. /sarcasm
No need to be so paranoid. The human body has an immune system for a reason.


RE: Free is good!!
By Omega215D on 12/16/2009 12:29:49 PM , Rating: 2
I eat there about 2 times a week, sometimes more if I just go in and get fries or a snackwrap and am in great health. Cholesterol levels are excellent and blood pressure is where it should be. I usually reserve the fatty foods after my workout in the shaolin school otherwise I'll be slowed down considerably after having fast food.


RE: Free is good!!
By ClownPuncher on 12/16/2009 5:36:39 PM , Rating: 2
Your soul is fat, though.


RE: Free is good!!
By jonmcc33 on 12/16/2009 9:21:31 AM , Rating: 2
Does your 4 year old know that her father is a prejudice ass as well? Nothing like forcing your opinion upon your children. Sort of like what racist white supremacists do with their kids.

Obesity is a severe medical condition and shouldn't be made fun of.


RE: Free is good!!
By Spivonious on 12/16/2009 9:33:06 AM , Rating: 5
It's a medical condition that is completely preventable. You don't just wake up one day and weigh 300 pounds.


RE: Free is good!!
By AEvangel on 12/16/2009 10:10:25 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Obesity is a severe medical condition and shouldn't be made fun of.


Being as someone that is obese I don't agree with this, statement in the context you present it. While being obese is severe medical condition, it's one that people inflict upon themselves like cancer with smoking or liver failure due to alcohol abuse.

If you just start calling it a "severe medical condition" then people will just use that as more of a crutch. In today's pass the blame society everyone out there is looking for someone or some other reason to blame for their lack of self control.

I'm overweight cause I eat crap food and I don't exercise enough, while I might be genetically predisposed to being overweight, it's still no excuse for poor diet and lack of exercise.


RE: Free is good!!
By GodisanAtheist on 12/16/2009 1:10:30 PM , Rating: 5
It takes a big man to admit his own faults ;-)


RE: Free is good!!
By TemjinGold on 12/16/2009 7:33:27 PM , Rating: 2
It takes a big man to HAVE those faults too... ;)


RE: Free is good!!
By karielash on 12/17/2009 3:59:09 AM , Rating: 2

Yeah, it's a glandular problem right.... only the glands are the two things on the end of the arms that keep shoving crap in your mouth.


RE: Free is good!!
By Bender 123 on 12/16/2009 10:00:06 AM , Rating: 3
Yes...after my six year old is done with school and her Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Mui Thai during four of five nights a week and the four year old twins finish gymnastics for one and soccer for the other MCDonalds can be a treat that they enjoy. To be honest a Chicken McNugget Happy Meal with apples and skim milk is a fairly decent meal.

Yes, fat people do eat at McDonalds, just as fat people eat at home. Its a matter of personal responsibility and eating things in moderation. There are plenty of bad choices and plenty of responsible ones. Get a side salad instead of fries, never get the deep fried chicken sando (but the McChicken minus mayo isnt bad...except for sodium...)

Just be responsible.


RE: Free is good!!
By AEvangel on 12/16/2009 10:12:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just be responsible.


Amen, but don't say that too you will put the Govt out of job.


RE: Free is good!!
By Spivonious on 12/16/2009 10:39:40 AM , Rating: 2
Heh, I had a 1/4 pounder with cheese the other day and was pretty astounded to see the sandwich alone was over 50% of daily sodium. Go preservatives!


RE: Free is good!!
By mindless1 on 12/17/2009 9:07:56 AM , Rating: 2
QP w/cheese is listed as 50% RDA of sodium, for a _2000_ calorie diet.

Don't know what your size or activity level is but my RDA is over 3000 calories.

Then again, I'd eat a couple 1/4 pounders w/o cheese for lunch instead of one w/cheese IF I were stuck eating there, which would be about 38% of my RDA for sodium. I do wish they'd just leave the salt out though and give you a packet of salt on your tray or in the bag for those who want it, to me it just tastes too salty.


RE: Free is good!!
By mindless1 on 12/17/2009 9:54:52 AM , Rating: 2
Funny thing, a quarter pounder w/o cheese actually stacks up REALLY WELL against some other common foods.

I just pulled a pack of oven roasted chicken breast out of the fridge. To get about the same protein as the quarter pounder, it would require 4 oz of chicken breast. This stuff has "healthy" in the name and the american heart association emblem on it.

4 oz of this stuff, plus two pieces of plain white bread, nothing else on a sandwidth just that - 52% of the sodium RDA for a 2K calorie diet, vs 30% for the QP w/o cheese.

On the other hand, the QP even w/o cheese looks terrible for having 5X the fat incl. sat. fat.

I guess my gripe is, why can't they stop putting crap in my food? lol. Time to become a chicken farmer, I wonder what my neighbors would say.


RE: Free is good!!
By ZachDontScare on 12/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: Free is good!!
By Litzner on 12/16/2009 9:37:03 AM , Rating: 2
Knowing that all McDonalds should have free WiFi will make me much more likely to stop there when I am on the road for work.


RE: Free is good!!
By StevoLincolnite on 12/16/2009 9:49:02 AM , Rating: 2
Mc'Donalds has been giving me free Wi-Fi for a few years now, thanks to the ISP "Internode" here in Australia.
They have a few Hotspots around town actually which anyone can jump on and leech to there hearts desire, not bad speeds either. (20mbps+)


RE: Free is good!!
By celticbrewer on 12/16/2009 10:43:32 AM , Rating: 2
Being an AT&T highspeed customer, I get free wifi there and other places and I've yet to use it. But it's nice to know that it's there.

BTW: to the health conscious people above, McDonalds is actually pretty healthy compared to most fast food. I checked nutritional info of all the major places (mostly sat fat, soldium, calories) and McD and TacoBell were some of the best. Even "healthy" subway wasn't that great. You just need to make the right choices. For example, the grilled chicken at Wendy's is actually pretty bad, unless you order it without the sauce. BurgerKing was the only major chain that still has a lot of transfat in its products.

If you really are concerned about what you eat, don't b!tch and whine about fast food and make false assumptions- READ the info on their websites or in their stores.


RE: Free is good!!
By Uncle on 12/16/2009 5:13:21 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not as concerned about Fat,Sodium,Cholesterol, that I have some control over. But I am concerned about not having a label on all the drug residue still in the meat by the time it gets to me. That would interest me. Ask your self why Penicillin used to work in the 60 and early 70. Nobody was regulating how much the drug companies could sell to the farmer and how much the farmer could give to his cows, eventually we started to build up an immunity. Go back and read up on Tetracycline and why the order was given for everyone to cut back on it. The scare was that their was nothing that was better for the consumer if they got sick because we were starting to build up an immunity to Tetracycline. The beef, chickens, pork, were full of it. Drug labels on meat would be fine with me. People would be shocked if they new what we were getting for drugs in the meat dept.


RE: Free is good!!
By Uncle on 12/16/2009 3:05:15 PM , Rating: 2
Even if they offer me free hamburgers with free wifi I still wouldn't eat there. But I will go and pick up a real hamburger at Burgerking and eat it at McDonalds in my car and use their free wifi.


RE: Free is good!!
By aqwan135 on 12/20/2009 8:13:46 PM , Rating: 1
http://ta.gg/3yu

fr ee sh i pp ing

(jordan shoes) $32

(air max) $34

+++

wow


Typical...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 12/16/2009 2:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
An article about free wi-fi turns into rants about fast food. Its like when grading college papers, when the students don't know the answer to an essay question, they turn the issue into something they know about and answer from there.

In any event, for anyone taking advantage of this service, be prepared to get hacked in a big way.




RE: Typical...
By theslug on 12/16/2009 5:16:28 PM , Rating: 3
Why? What are you planning?


RE: Typical...
By mindless1 on 12/17/2009 9:11:06 AM , Rating: 2
Speak for yourself, many of us regularly use open hotspots w/o issue because we think ahead about the exposure and security holes and don't do anything dumb like online banking on an insecure network.


Provided by ATT!
By roostitup on 12/16/2009 1:30:07 PM , Rating: 2
You forgot to mention the fact this this free WIFI is provided by ATT. This is an important tidbit left out, especially considering the sites cheap attack tactics against ATT, especially Jason Mick. I suggest you change the report to include the facts, or is DailyTech just that biased against ATT as to leave them out of anything showing them in a positive light?




RE: Provided by ATT!
By roostitup on 12/16/2009 1:31:44 PM , Rating: 2
Here's a more accurate article:

http://cuthut.com/PZ5


RE: Provided by ATT!
By The0ne on 12/16/2009 4:16:10 PM , Rating: 2
They've also made it free for hotspots in bookstores such as B&N and...crap forgot the other chain since I never go there anymore. Anyways, they're free too :)


Nice and something more...
By The0ne on 12/16/2009 4:13:05 PM , Rating: 2
I gave plenty of people dirt, grime and on occasion specks buggers. Mind you this was NOT on purpose. The McDonald was very busy as it was located in the mall. The manager had me working several different jobs in one day.

I would go from cooking to cashier to cleanup. But more frequently she would have me clean up the bathroom with a fcking toothbrush. Afterward I would complain that I needed to wash up before handling food and she gave me hell for it. So I did what was asked for two hellish week.

That was myy first and last time I was curious why the "average" teenager my age were so interested in working at fast food places. After that, I went back to my summer interns at UCSD and Hospitals and never, NEVER looked back.

Manager was Hispanic as well as other workers. I had it rough with the, what I truly think it is, racist sht going on. Mrs. Blanca can suck it and to all the thousands of people that ate at the restaurant without knowing, there are no words to describe what I need to say except for...excuse me while I puke...that.




RE: Nice and something more...
By mindless1 on 12/17/2009 10:01:00 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but no. After you toothbrush the bathroom there was no excuse not to wash your hands BEFORE leaving the bathroom.


RE: Nice and something more...
By The0ne on 12/17/2009 10:30:20 AM , Rating: 2
Ah, I see an infected one has arrived. Sorry, but no go. I was dragged to do the work. IF I had the chance I would have but no dice. I was the ONLY person doing cleaning around the place. She worked me like a slave. Godforsaken place that was. Hate racist sht people.

And don't you think it's somehow at least strange that a manager would have an employee clean the bathroom with a toothbrush? Just wanna ask cause it seems everything else went right over you except blaming me :) Do you even realize how fcking hard it is to clean with a toothbrush, let alone the insane amount of time and effort.


Restaurant?
By croc on 12/16/2009 4:10:08 PM , Rating: 2
calling a McDonald's a 'restaurant' is almost as bad as calling the crap at Starbuck's 'coffee'.




Dont want to smell like fries
By ZachDontScare on 12/16/2009 4:26:35 PM , Rating: 2
This is great news, esp when travelling. But the truth is, while McD's may be great to visit for a quick meal, I'd rather spend 2 hours in a coffee shop and leave smelling like coffee, than 2 hours in McD's and leave smelling like a fry cook.

Maybe it'll be usable out in the parking lot.




Now cut the beeps!
By androticus on 12/17/2009 9:37:57 PM , Rating: 2
Now all they have to do is cut the cacaphony of loud beeping machines and maybe people will want to stay for longer than it takes to order and leave with your sanity barely intact!




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