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Hungry? Google Will Soon Show Restaurant Wait Times
08 November 2017, 02:00 | Hattie Nash
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Google is already showing a lot of information about businesses, from the basics like opening hours through to what their busiest times are.
One benefit to this is that you'll get estimated wait times for each hour of the day the restaurant is open, allowing you to plan ahead and potentially skip the line altogether. Like the popular times feature, Google is algorithmically calculating its estimates based on data gathered from the millions of people who've enabled location tracking on their phones.
Wait times will first be available on mobile and desktop search, and will later roll out to Google Maps.
Of course, wait times aren't just an issue at fine dining establishments. Not only will it tell you which times are most popular among visitors and your estimated wait time for a table, but it will also tell you how long people typically spend at the business you're visiting.
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.
For over a couple of years now, Google has been leveraging data from Google Maps' install base to deliver these sorts of insights. Similar to the busy times, a bar graph will show you the busiest times. It will then come to Google Maps to Android, at which point it will expand to include grocery stores, the company says.
Will you be booking a fancy night out using the new feature?
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