Google Is Adding Restaurant Wait Times to Search Results

Randall Craig
November 8, 2017

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. Google is adding new detail with information about actual wait times and projected wait times to help hungry consumers plan their visits for a bite to eat.

Google says the feature is hitting Search first, then will arrive on Maps not long after that.

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. 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. When they're ready to launch on Google Maps and Android, Google also promises to expand the function to include grocery-store listings. In addition, Google will tell you how long people typically spend at the restaurant.

Google already uses this data to show you when a restaurant will get busy through the "Popular Times" section on each restaurant listing.

Users can tap on any of the hour bars to see an estimated wait for that period, and scrolling left and right will show a summary of that day's total waiting times.

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