If there’s one thing my family and I can agree on, it’s that we love to go out to eat.

This is especially true on the weekends when we’re out and about running errands. At some point we’re hungry and looking for a restaurant nearby that isn’t an over-priced chain.

So how do we decide where to eat?

First, we want to know what’s available in the area. So I go directly to my iPhone.

I’ve been jumping between a few different apps these days to help me find a restaurant: Foursquare, YellowPages, and Urbanspoon. The apps show me what’s in the area, provide me with an idea on prices, and show how people have reviewed the restaurant.

Once I’ve found a potential place that looks appetizing, the next thing I’m looking for is a menu.

The menu is the deal breaker

If I can’t easily find a menu either within the app or on the restaurant’s website—a menu I’m able to read on my smartphone—I’m moving on to the next restaurant.

The menu is part of my decision making process because it allows me to see if there’s anything I want to eat before heading to the restaurant. If there’s no menu, I won’t be eating at that restaurant.

Apparently, I’m not the only one

I’m not sure if most people are as harsh as I am on the menu issue but one thing’s for certain: people are taking to their smartphones when searching for their next great meal.

Recently, SinglePlatform released data on digital menu trends showing the importance of mobile when it comes to consumers making in the moment dining decisions. (Full disclosure: Constant Contact owns SinglePlatform.)

What does the data show?

  • Mobile is getting closer and in some cases surpassing web search as a means to find online menus
  • There is a 33% increase in menu views on weekends
  • Top locations for viewing menus include New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles.
  • Over half (52%) of mobile menu views occur on an iPhone

What does this menu data mean?

That it’s important for restaurants to provide mobile-friendly menus so they don’t miss out on potential business. I’ve got a family of four ready to eat and we’d love to be eating at your restaurant!

What about you? Are you using your smartphone to find places to eat? How important is the menu in your decision making process? And if you own a restaurant are you making sure your menu is easy to find and mobile friendly?