Google Is Adding Restaurant Wait Times to Search Results

The fact that a restaurant is busy at 3PM on a Thursday afternoon doesn't necessarily mean you'll have to wait ages for service - there may be more staff working, for instance.

There's no word on when this feature will roll out, and we're also unsure if it will launch at the same time across Maps and Search. According to the company, the feature is rolling out soon on Google Search with Google Maps to follow.

For over a couple of years now, Google has been leveraging data from Google Maps' install base to deliver these sorts of insights.

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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. Users will also be able to tap on any of the bars in the chart to get information on the estimated wait time. For now, Google is only talking about getting tables at restaurants, but a support page suggests that other business types, such as grocery stores, will be included in the future.

Wait times are calculated based on "anonymized historical data" pulled from Google users who have opted into Google's (somewhat creepy) smartphone location history program. In addition, Google will tell you how long people typically spend at the restaurant. You can even scroll left and right to see a summary of each day's wait times below the hour bars - so you can plan ahead to beat the crowds.

Will you be booking a fancy night out using the new feature?

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