Google Search and Google Maps Will Soon Include Restaurant Wait Times
Google has recently revealed that it is planning to introduce a new functionality that will have Google Search (and soon, Google Maps) display estimated wait times for restaurants in a specific area. This neat new feature is actually a sort of extension of an already existing tool that offers information about a business establishment’s peak hours. This time around, Google is going the extra mile by also giving users an idea of how long they will have to wait if they want to dine at that interesting Italian place just around the corner, say, tomorrow night.
Google has always been super smart about how it uses the tons of data it gathers on a daily basis, but it turns out that in the last two years, the company has been taking full advantage of the information it has compiled from Google Maps’ install base. During the summer of 2015, the world’s biggest and most reliable search engine started to offer mobile web users information about which specific days and which specific time were the busiest for local enterprises. A year later, Google had managed to further fine tune the functionality in order to display the data in real time.
And now, the company is putting that same process to good use for hungry mobile web users. The information is sourced from the countless anonymous users who use Google Location History, essentially producing a continuously growing treasure trove of updated real time data. For dining places, Google is planning to add a pop-up box that gets displayed when a user taps on a time frame in the popular times’ chart. What this box will do is basically display the real time (or historical) data, labeled as either buy, usually busy, usually not busy, etc, plus the estimated wait times. Of course, wait times are not always one hundred percent accurate depending on other factors, but having an idea is better than none.
The information on wait times will initially be made available on Google Search, specifically on the nearly million strong number of restaurants and dining listings across the globe. As mentioned earlier, the feature should expand soon to Google Maps. And then later on, the tech giant is even thinking of further extending the functionality to include support for all grocery store listings.
For more information about the new wait times feature for restaurants, it might be a good idea to head directly to Google’s blog post regarding the upcoming functionality.