Google announced a new feature on Tuesday that will show you the estimated wait times for area restaurants.
For a while now, Google’s existing tool has displayed business’ busy times and the new tool is like an expansion to the existing feature.
The newly announced “wait times” feature will calculate and display wait times at sit-down restaurants so that you will get the idea about which seats are empty or available.
For over a couple of years now, Google has been developing advanced technologies and leveraging data from Google Maps’ install base to provide these perceptions. For example, back in summer 2015, it started to display which days of the week and time of day were the busiest for the businesses through charts for users. It has improved the tool by delivering this same information in real-time.
Google will also provide its new wait times feature using the aggregated and anonymized data from users who get selected into Google Location History. For the restaurants, Google is adding a pop-up box that will appear when you click on a time frame in the popular times’ chart. Pop-up box will show you the live or former data tagged as “busy,” “usually busy,” “usually not busy,” etc., along with the wait time.
Google says the restaurant wait feature includes “all your favorite restaurants” but did not specify whether the restaurant wait feature is available nationally or in a limited number of cities.
The company says the feature is rolling out soon and once live, users will see the times in the restaurant listings on both desktop and mobile.