Google Adds Restaurant Wait Times to Search and Maps

Check wait times ahead to beat the crowd!

It’s your one night off from Netflix and Chilling and you want to try a new restaurant without making reservations. No worries Google just added wait times to Google My Business pages so you can see how long the wait is before heading over to that restaurant. This may be a deathblow to the linewaiters of the world but the rest of us can rejoice.  Now you can use this data to show up when there is no line and avoid waiting at altogether

The new feature is actually an extension of existing Popular Times tool that shows the busiest hours at businesses. All you have to do is look up the restaurant on Google, open the business listing and scroll down to the Popular Times section. The estimated wait times will appear in a pop-up window when you tap on any hour bar of Popular Time’s chart.

Also, be sure to see our article: Local Search – 10 Affordable Tips to Boost Your Business

How Google displays the new wait times

Google shows you how busy a restaurant is using the current time of day by default. Now they have added estimated wait times to that information. If you are planning ahead, you can click on any hour to check Google’s estimation for that time of day:

Google-Wait-times_live       Google-Wait-time_estimate

If you plan a couple of days ahead,  you can even scroll left and right to see a summary of each day’s wait times below the hours bars.

Just like the Popular Times and Visit Duration features, Google’s estimates for wait times are based on aggregated, “anonymized” data from mobile users who have Location History activated on their device.

The feature is now available on Google Search (both mobile and desktop) for nearly one million restaurants around the world. Eventually it will appear on Google Maps and will expand to include grocery stores.

Wait time data seems to be a trending add on

Google is not the first company to provide wait time prediction feature. Earlier this year, Yelp acquired restaurant reservation app Nowait. The app was developed for those restaurants that don’t accept reservations, but use wait list system. In addition to showing wait time, Nowait allows you to add your name to the list ahead of your arrival to speed up the time it takes to be seated.  It also sends you a text when it’s time to head to the restaurant. If you are running late, you can reply to the text to let the restaurant know.

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