It pays to be mobile, if you want to reach the last-minute planners. According to Google 62% of restaurant related searches on Valentine's Day were from "high end mobile devices or tablets."

Something to think about for restaurants or other businesses that don't have mobile-friendly sites.

The volume of searches for restaurants was up drastically between 7th of February and Valentine's day, from all devices. Google says that desktop searches spiked by 142%, tablet searches by 135%, and by 359% on mobile devices. Google's results look at "popular chain restaurants," so it's unclear how that relates to local favorites. For example, Google probably isn't catching searches for information on Mango's Peruvian Cuisine or Prime 1000 here in St. Louis.

Google, of course, is hoping to convince restaurateurs that they should be doing mobile advertising. "If you weren't advertising on mobile, you missed an opportunity to reach nearly two-thirds of consumers looking to find a restaurant."

But it's also a cue to restaurateurs that they should have sites that are mobile friendly. Hint: Flash-heavy sites and Flash-only sites need to die. Ideally, any restaurant worth its salt (sorry) should have a mobile site with the following:

  1. Menu
  2. Hours
  3. Phone number
  4. Address / directions
  5. Mobile-friendly reservation system

Restaurants without those things may still do decent business, but I suspect that the restaurants without mobile-friendly sites missed out on at least some customers.

More Mobile Mushiness

Restaurants weren't the only things that mobile users were searching for. Google also outlined the difference in mobile searches for "flower-related terms" in California. Searches grew by 227% from February 7th through 14th. Google says that users were 560% more likely to click to call or get directions from an ad on Valentine's day.

The results here shouldn't be much of a surprise to anybody. At least, I find that they mirror my own experience in terms of using my phone to find restaurants and for shopping, though not so much the last-minuteness for Valentine's Day. If you want to take advantage of last-minute planners (and remember, Valentine's Day comes but once a year – but there are anniversaries and birthdays every day...), get your mobile game on.