Google now serves up wait times at restaurants, adding grocery stores soon

08 November, 2017, 02:03 | Author: Jacqueline Daniels
  • Getty Images  AWL Images RM

With the addition, Google is at least partly challenging existing apps like NoWait, which is handy for seeing restaurant wait times.

Planning an impromptu trip to nearby restaurant as a special treat, but also anxious that you'll have to wait hours for your food to arrive?

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Estimating the wait time for a table at a restaurant seems anything but a science.

It has been nearly a year since Google began showing their Popular Times feature in Google Search and Maps, so today, they are adding an additional bit of information to it. It will then come to Google Maps to Android, at which point it will expand to include grocery stores, the company says.

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Average wait times for about 1 million restaurants are coming to search results on Tuesday.

Google will now show those searching for a restaurant the wait times of almost one million sit-down restaurants worldwide that allow walk-ins. And by tapping on any of the hour bars, you'll see the estimated wait for that time period.

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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. 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 people start avoiding the places with long wait times and end up raising the waits at the convenient spots that weren't so popular?

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