If you’ve ever gone to one of your favourite restaurants during peak hours and were forced to wait for a table, you will love the new feature that Google is adding to Google Search and Google Maps. Simply by looking up one of the million or so restaurants with which the search giant has partnered, you can see approximate wait times for a table if you were to arrive at that moment. What’s more, you can see predictions of what wait times will be in the future based on historical data.
The new wait time feature in Google Maps and Google Search tells you how long you’ll have to wait based on restaurants’ average wait times and how long people tend to spend at a given restaurant. To find wait times for your favourite restaurants, simply Google the restaurant and scroll down to its business hours in the search results. You can tap them to see the current wait time, or scroll to the left and right to view wait time estimates for future days, allowing you to plan ahead and beat the traffic.
It’s similar to some of Google’s turn-by-turn navigation estimates, which show transit time based on real-time traffic. And like Google’s “popular times” graph, which lets you see how busy a place is before going, it uses data from users who’ve opted into Google Location History.
Google’s restaurant wait times feature is rolling out worldwide in listings on mobile and desktop, and will then come to Google Maps on Android. It’s only available in participating sit-down restaurants right now, but Google says it’ll eventually expand to grocery stores.
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