The newest profit center for bars and restaurants is the free charger for smartphones and tablets. It’s not free for users, who are likely to stay longer than they might have planned, buying more drinks and food than they intended, while they wait for their “free” courtesy charge.
It’s a great deal for bars and restaurants, who can recoup the $125 cost of the machine in a single happy hour. The quick payback is the marketing and sales pitch by Courtesy Chargers to bars and restaurants, along with its small size – it takes up less space than a six-pack of beer.
Courtesy Chargers are now installed in more than 200 restaurants across Northern Ohio, including Progressive Field, Beef O’Brady’s, Rockne’s Restaurants, Chelsea’s, Texas Roadhouse and Olde 8 Tavern locations. The restaurant industry publication Restaurant News reports the owner of the Chelsea’s in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, has installed chargers at each table, to keep customers in their seats longer, ordering more food and drink.
What’s that old saying about there’s no free lunch? Seems there’s no free charge, either.