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BizReport : Social Marketing : April 18, 2011

British eateries ignoring mobile

British restaurants and bars aren't catching the eyes, or the wallets, of smartphone-wielding consumers and are missing out on bookings as a result, found international online reservations provider Livebookings.

by Helen Leggatt

Livebookings_Logo_Horizontal_profile.jpgWhile over a third (36%) of Brits have the power of a smartphone in their pockets, and 23% of all web browsing is done via a mobile device, Livebookings' research found that just a tiny fraction of restaurants and bars have websites optimized for mobile browsing - 2.6%.

"Restaurants can't afford to ignore the power of mobile. Consumers today demand instant access to the services they want 24/7," said Andris Berzins, Chief Marketing Officer at Livebookings.

"The restaurant industry, like other service sectors, needs to respond to changing consumer behaviors and embrace mobile technology to deliver a high quality user experience."

But do consumers want to book restaurants online or via mobile? Apparently so, and their numbers are rising. During 2010, seven million dinner bookings were made via Livebookings but in just March this year, over one million were made.

Livebookings' SaaS solution enables restaurant and bar owners to handle bookings, promotions and customer feedback through an online application accessed directly via the Internet. This does away with the need for expensive hardware while facilitating real-time engagement and management of promotions and perishable inventory.

"Online booking may not necessarily be a new phenomenon, but the previous need for serious investment in IT has often made restaurants cautious about how they use computers to work with their customers," said Livebookings' CEO, Colin Tenwick

"Now, all our restaurateurs need is access to the Internet, and they can catch online booking data to create instant promotions night-on-night and properly analyze the reasons people book their tables the way they do."

Tags: bookings, cloud computing, Internet, Livebookings, mobile, online reservations, restaurant, SaaS, smartphone use, UK

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