SAN FRANCISCO - Three McDonald's restaurants in San Francisco have installed >STREETSPACE Web Stations, allowing their customers to literally "walk up to the Web" for free. By touching the screen of the stylishly designed Web Stations, customers will have free access to a
wide variety of popular websites and online services, including ABCNEWS.com,
MSN HotMail, CitySearch, FOXSports.com, Kozmo.com, Tickets.com, and SFGate.com
for San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders content.
"Adding the >STREETSPACE Web Stations is another way for us to offer our
customers an enhanced restaurant experience," says Bob Mendes, a
San Francisco-based McDonald's restaurant franchisee. "In addition to giving
our customers free access to popular Internet content, it provides us with a
great opportunity to connect with our customers in a new way."
Recognizing the increasing need to build a strong presence online, many
retailers are calling on >STREETSPACE to help them leverage their physical
space to introduce their websites to customers. The Web Stations at
McDonald's will prominently display a McDonald's-branded website with links to
contests and promotions, customer feedback, food facts, online job
applications, McDonald's merchandise, and information on Ronald McDonald House
Charities. Making these features available will enable these McDonald's
locations to create a two-way dialogue with their customers and provide a fun
and enjoyable experience in the restaurant.
"We have always considered McDonald's the perfect venue for our Web
Stations", says >STREETSPACE founder, Tom Mathai. "McDonald's has over
27,000 restaurants around the world, which are visited by 43 million customers
every day. Most of them use the Internet. Our goal is to someday provide
free e-mail and Web-based content to all 43 million of those McDonald's
customers. So far, the pilot test in the San Francisco area has been a big
As was the case with the >STREETSPACE Web Stations introduced at the
San Francisco Giants' Pacific Bell Park in early August, users do not have to
pay to use them. In order to ensure that customers do not have to wait long
to use a Web Station, there is a 15-minute time limit for each session. Most
users stay on a Web Station for about 5 minutes, quickly checking their email,
news summaries, sports scores, or browsing shopping sites.
Since the Web Stations run on a private broadband network, powered by
high-speed digital subscriber lines (DSL), users are able to view entertaining
rich media content, including 49ers and Raiders highlights, music videos,
movie trailers, cartoons, and up-to-the-minute news clips. Throughout the
ongoing Presidential election controversy, McDonald's customers have been able
to check in for up-to-the-minute news.
"All content providers and e-tailers are guaranteed category exclusivity
on the >STREETSPACE private broadband network, providing them with a very
cost-effective way to drive traffic to their sites and acquire new users,"
says Michael Wranovics, VP of Marketing at >STREETSPACE. "At McDonald's
restaurants, sponsors are able to reach a large audience of mainstream
consumers when they are 'taking a break' and have a few minutes to check in."
With its network of Web Stations, >STREETSPACE is creating a new space
for accessing Web-based content -- the retail space. When consumers leave
home or work today, they generally lose their access to email and other
Internet services. Web Stations make it possible for people to stay connected
for free in the places where they gather, shop, and hang out.
On October 22, 1999, >STREETSPACE launched the first Clicks-and-Mortar
Network with over 60 high-traffic retail locations in Berkeley, CA.
>STREETSPACE, which is now poised to expand its private broadband network
nationally, is helping retail businesses leverage their physical space to
build a stronger online presence and provide their customers with free access
to rich media content and online services. The >STREETSPACE offering consists
of compact, stylishly designed Web Stations connected to a private broadband
network. Standard features on a Web Station include the retail partner's
online offering, plus free access to e-mail, a city guide, news, sports,
online shopping, and other popular online offerings.