Beverage specialist CB&TL deploys Wi-Fi for patrons

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LOS ANGELES The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, based here, said some team members have observed higher traffic and tickets since the chain began deploying to "virtually all" 289 company-operated retail locations free, unlimited Internet connectivity, or Wi-Fi service, from Industry Retail Group.

"We've already received positive response from our customers" with personal, Internet-capable devices, said Paul Balzer, vice president of supply chain for CB&TL, which fields about 650 company and franchised locations worldwide. CB&TL is offering its Wi-Fi service for free, in contrast to the paid or limited service of some competitors, and since the launch of the program "our store teams have noticed an increase in store traffic as well as higher sales per order," he said.

Sources at Wilmington, Del.-based IRG said the vendor's TruManage software allows CB&TL staff to monitor the status of Wi-Fi service at every location, and noted that the project was initiated and completed within 60 days. They said TruManage's "dashboard," or information recap and reporting interface, permits CB&TL staff quick access to relevant data related to the Wi-Fi imitative.