By Max Clarke

Restaurants are missing a trick by ignoring mobile to attract today’s diner that locates, researches, books and reviews restaurants whilst on the move.

According to new research released today by Livebookings, only 2.6% of British restaurants’ have a website that is optimised to take advantage of mobile even though 23% of web browsing is now done through mobile.

With 36% of the UK population now owning smartphones and PC searches decreasing by 15% year on year, restaurants that don’t facilitate mobile reservations are missing out on a massive opportunity to fill tables. To address this gap, Livebookings is launching its new revolutionary mobile platform, Pocket Diner, to help restaurateurs maximise all booking channels to drive footfall and profitability.

Pocket Diner by Livebookings was built with mobile reservations in mind, complimenting the restaurant’s existing web presence and creating a mobile optimised version suitable for devices like the BlackBerry and iPhone. With 7 out of 10 consumers preferring to use their smartphones rather than downloading specific apps, Pocket Diner is ideal for those who want to browse or book their restaurant choice on a mobile site.

Andris Berzins, Chief Marketing Officer at Livebookings, said: "Restaurants can't afford to ignore the power of mobile. Consumers today demand instant access to the services they want 24/7. The restaurant industry, like other service sectors, needs to respond to changing consumer behaviours and embrace mobile technology to deliver a high quality user experience."

Restaurants are already benefiting from Livebookings’ mobile platform, including leading chains Strada, Giraffe, Masala Zone and Café Rouge. Stephanie Rice, Marketing Coordinator at Giraffe explains, “Pocket Diner is ideal for restaurants that understand the value of their online presence and want to optimise it to take advantage of the new generation of mobile web users.”

Fully integrated with Livebookings’ market-leading reservations and marketing platform, restaurant managers can now access all bookings through the internet in one central place. Other key features include a real-time content management system, which allows restaurant owners to manage and customise information on their site (e.g. menus, maps etc) and GPS technology to locate visitors and push details on the nearest restaurant or latest offers.