Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Google Maps and Search will soon tell you wait times at restaurants

Above Popular Times Above Popular Times
Lucas Bell | 08 November, 2017, 01:07

There you'll see the estimated wait time at that very moment.

The feature is rolling out to Search - and soon to Maps as well, will show you the wait times at almost a million sit-down restaurants around the world. Now you can decide whether that cronut is really worth an hour wait or plan ahead to get your fix at a time when you can avoid a wait entirely. Google gathers this information from aggregated and anonymized data from users who allow Google to track their location using Google apps on their phones or other devices. To access it, you look up the restaurant on Google, then go to the Popular Times tab that populates on the right-hand side of the search page. To calculate wait times, Google analyzes patterns of customer visits over the last several weeks. Technically, it's an add-on to a preexisting feature - the Popular Times tool that shows the busiest hours at businesses - but this tweak lets users plan better for dinner, since an excessive table wait definitely disrupts the day more than standing in an unusually long Uniqlo line. This could come in particularly handy for those bars and restaurants that don't take reservations (looking at you, Monk's).

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Google says millions of restaurants will be participating at launch. Google determined the wait times with historical data, similar to the "Popular Times" graph, according to the company.

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