How to Make Serious Money in Wi-Fi
Just ask Ameranth Wireless . The savvy Wi-Fi solutions provider in Long Beach, Calif., has won a big integration deal with Darden Restaurants Inc. Never heard of Darden? Guess again. The company operates family food chains like Red Lobster and Olive Garden. Ameranth CEO Keith McNally walked me through the Darden story during an e-mail exchange. Actually, it was almost like instant messaging. McNally personally replied to each of my messages within about 15 minutes. Talk about a responsive CEO who loves his business.
While most solutions providers are struggling to make money on Wi-Fi hot spots, Ameranth instead focuses on software. The companys wireless applications allow restaurant employees to roam about dining rooms and kitchens with PocketPCs. The potential implications are huge: Food orders can be sent wirelessly to the kitchen, credit card transactions can increasingly occur at a customers table, and menu updates "were out of tuna; push the salmon" - can be communicated instantly to all staff.
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