Do you hate planning a nice night out at your favorite restaurant just to learn that there’s a two hour wait time when you get there? I do. When I get to the restaurant, I’m usually fairly hungry (and I get hangry quite soon after that), so if there’s a long wait time, I usually end up eating somewhere else, and it often ruins my dining experience because my first destination was really where I wanted to eat. Well, thanks to Google, I will soon be able to check estimated wait times at restaurants around me ahead of time and plan accordingly. Neat.
Google already introduced this feature to show you which days of the week and time of day were the busiest for local businesses a little over two years ago, and the restaurant wait time is a great addition to this feature. The feature will allow users to see a chart showing popular time of attendance for restaurants. When you click on a time frame, a pop up box will appear containing either live or historical data (collected from Google users who enable Google Location History) showing whether the time frame you selected is usually “busy”, “usually busy,” “usually not busy,” etc., and the estimated wait time for a table. You’ll also be able to see how long diners typically take to finish their meals (for example, it’ll say “People typically spend 1hr to 2hr here”)
Unfortunately, and unlike the NoWait app, the new feature on Google Search and Google Maps won’t allow you to put your name on the waiting list ahead of time at establishments that don’t take reservations. The feature is being rolled out today both on mobile devices and desktops across the globe and will show data for over one million sit-down restaurants worldwide, so chances are your favorite hang-out place will be included. According to Google, once the feature is rolled out to Android devices, it will be working on adding busy and wait times in various grocery stores, as well, which would be extremely helpful to shorten shopping trips.