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

Google has rustled up a new feature for Search that shows estimated wait times at nearly a million sit-down restaurants, and grocery stores are coming soon.

Published onNovember 7, 2017

Planning an impromptu trip to nearby restaurant as a special treat, but also worried that you’ll have to wait hours for your food to arrive? Never fear, hungry reader, as Google has rustled up a new feature for Search that shows estimated wait times for food at nearly a million sit-down restaurants.

The feature, which will also be added to Google Maps later down the line, joins the usual menu of information served up by each Google business listing, such as alongside opening times, reviews, menus, and more, and expands on existing “Popular Times” data.

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The current estimated wait time will show automatically when accessing the restaurant’s Google listing, alongside a bar graph which shows the average wait time by hour based on live and historical data Google explained in a blog post that the new box will help those looking to book a table while also avoiding busier times of the day.

As for where the data comes from, Google notes that wait time estimates are based on anonymized historical data, much like how it calculates popular times for millions of businesses beyond just restaurants.

The new chart is rolling out today for both mobile and desktop. Google also says that the feature will expand to cover grocery stores when it hits Google Maps.

Will you be booking a fancy night out using the new feature? Let us know in the comments (and save us a seat!).

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