The restaurant booking service revealed that women are leading the trend, accounting for 61 per cent of bookings from smart devices, compared to 39 per cent from men.
Online restaurant searches spike around 7pm for mobile and tablet users, while desktop searches peak around 12.20pm. Users who book on mobile devices spend an average of 11 minutes hunting for a venue before making a reservation.
Though mobile and tablet diners tend to spend up to 37 per cent less than their desktop booking counterparts, with an average bill of £27.63 per person (compared to £37.78 for desktop bookings), they are more interested in new venues, with 44 per cent making first-time dining reservations through a mobile device.
Joe Steele, CEO of Bookatable, commented: "This significant increase in restaurant booking through smartphone and tablet devices indicates a major shift in the marketplace and shows that consumers are no longer making these kinds of decisions from a static position. Indeed, as people increasingly rely on connected devices, the more they are using them to purchase products and make reservations on the move. It is simply more convenient for diners and in a world of instant gratification we expect no less from our restaurant booking experiences."
The research was based on over 850,000 Bookatable users to coincide with the launch of the new Bookatable app, which displays real-time restaurant availability, as well as a ‘Star Deal’ feature and 'book now, pay later' promotions available to mobile users a day earlier than to the others.
Yelp launches free reservations
In a similar development, online review website Yelp has launched a free reservation service available on both the Yelp website and its mobile app.
Building on its paid-for SeatMe service, the new product allows restaurants with a Yelp business owners account to receive table reservations at no extra cost. A free widget is also available for businesses to add to their own websites to encourage visitors to book through Yelp.
Elliot Adams, senior European communications manager at Yelp, said: "By simplifying the reservation process and offering this feature free of charge to all businesses that have claimed their Yelp business page, we continue to deliver on our fundamental goal to connect people to great local businesses.
“As consumer demand grows for the ability to reserve a restaurant online, and business owners look for ways to translate online search results into custom, Yelp Reservations connects the dots to deliver a solution, at zero cost"
Read BigHospitality’s special feature on customer-focused technology to get tips on how to increase mobile reservations for your restaurant.