Google Search, Maps give users wait times for restaurants

08 November, 2017, 02:02 | Author: Carmen Reese
  • Getty Images  AWL Images RM

The feature will be arriving in Google Search first, followed soon after by Google Maps.

People aren't always able to book ahead at a restaurant, and for travelers who may not have a specific place in mind, being able to see where it will be easiest to get a table, in, say, an hour, can simplify the decision-making process. This could come in particularly handy for those bars and restaurants that don't take reservations (looking at you, Monk's).

Wait times start going live today on desktop and mobile.

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Coming soon, Google Search and Google Maps will show estimated wait times for almost a million sit-down restaurants across the world, the company announced today. And this feature could theoretically be applied to the Apple store or Woolworths. Google determined the wait times with historical data, similar to the "Popular Times" graph, according to the company.

To see an average wait time, tap on a restaurant's business page. This will be rolling out as part of the popular times feature, which has been available in Maps and Search for quite some time.

With this feature, users will be able to use Google Search to look up a restaurant and, in addition to getting all the standard information like open and close times, the address, and even reviews, visitors will be able to see when the restaurant is busy. Just a small algorithmic tweak could change the dynamic of a whole neighbourhood.

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