Dinner buffet with a side of wireless

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Now locals can have a side of 21st-century technology with their country fried steak, biscuits and gravy or fishtail sandwich.

Peddler’s Home Cooking on Third Street is now offering free wireless Internet usage to its customers.

According to the restaurant’s owner, Darlene Rutledge, it is the only area restaurant where the technology — also called WiFi or 802.1— can be used by those who have laptop computers with wireless capability.

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Rutledge said a recent visit to Florida inspired her to install wireless Internet, which feeds off a wireless modem already in place in the restaurant’s office.

“I know personally that it helped me a lot while I was traveling. It helped me stay in touch and know what was going on,” she said. “So, I wanted to do the same for my customers.”

Rutledge said she hopes the new technology will help to boost lagging business. It will be a benefit to all of her customers who want to have free wireless Internet, but especially college students — who already receive a 10 percent discount at Peddlers — and those who want a place to relax while doing work.

“They can come in here and have a cup of coffee. They can take a few minutes to sit down and relax,” the restaurant owner said. “We think it will be really great.”

She said, hopefully, the Internet will lure in more customers. Business has been lagging lately, she said, particularly during the midnight shift.

“We are really down quite a bit. So, we are going to try this,” Rutledge explained. “I think the customers will really benefit.”