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Skip the line: restaurant wait times on Search and Maps
08 November 2017, 01:05 | Megan Pierce
Hungry? Google can now tell you the wait time at restaurants, grocery stores
Diners will soon have a new tool to balance hunger and patience when Google adds a new feature to help dodge long wait times at popular NY restaurants. And while businesses in general have been supported for awhile to show wait times within Google Search, restaurants have been missing up until now. Google predicts it will be able to offer these wait times for nearly a million restaurants worldwide when the update is completed. Although not specified, this likely involves some activity and location tracking data being collected by Google from user's smartphones. To calculate wait times, Google analyzes patterns of customer visits over the last several weeks. For example, back in summer 2015, it began to show mobile web users which days of the week and time of day were the busiest for local businesses using charts that appear in the business listing. This could come in particularly handy for those bars and restaurants that don't take reservations (looking at you, Monk's).
Now, says Google, diners can click on a time frame and see live or historical data on how busy a restaurant is expected to be and the estimated wait time. By scrolling, you can also see how wait times vary on a day-to-day and hour-by-hour basis.
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