Delegates at search engine giant Google's first UK digital marketing event for restaurants heard that 31% of all restaurant sales are driven by online research.
The findings from Google's Consumer Barometer tool also showed that 28% of consumers use their mobile to carry out the research with the same percentage making decisions less than an hour before dining.
The Main Menu event was held at Google's London headquarters - in partnership with digital media agency Adtrak - and saw industry experts from Google, restaurant specialists, celebrity chefs and brand managers share the latest digital marketing trends and techniques.
Adtrak's account director Andy King explained how the restaurant industry is rapidly changing.
He said: "There are now many ways for customers to interact with restaurants through multiple platforms which did not exist 10 years ago.
"All platforms and devices should be leading customers on a path to convert."
"Brand is nothing if no one sees it," he said.
"Social venues should connect socially; it's as much about listening as being heard."
Google restaurant industry manager Charlotte Sutton said it was important for businesses to understand their audience, reach out to them and give them the information they are looking for.
Sutton said when deciding what restaurant to go to 37% of people use only online sources, 50% used both online and offline, 3% just offline and 11% did no research at all.
Yalin Solmaz, strategic advocate, top creator team at YouTube said 55% of web traffic was generated by video according to statistics from 2013.
More than one billion videos are uploaded every month with 300 hours of video uploaded every minute.
YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google with many people turning to how-to videos and food is the third fastest growing category on the video channel.
Alex Macdonald, co-founder and co-chief executive of restaurant payment app Velocity said mobile has become a big buzz word with one in six adults checking their phones more than 50 times a day.
According to statistics, 88% of millennials own a smartphone and this generation spends a higher proportion on eating out.
Research figures also revealed it costs seven times more to acquire a new customer compared to retaining one. He said existing customers tend to spend 67% more.