Google To Show Wait Times At Local Restaurants

Estimating the wait time for a table at a restaurant seems anything but a science.

Google did not indicate this is a feature on the way, so presumably it has already started to roll out to users in a phased manner.

Google engineers, for example, believe they can calculate the time it will take to get a table for two at 5:30 p.m. on a Friday evening to free up. Google Search can show you the times what it's really busy at that place so you know which hours to avoid. A new update to Google Search - and Maps is to follow - means you'll be able to see estimated wait times as well.

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Google says this feature will be rolled out to almost a million sit-down restaurants around the world. The estimates are based on anonymized historical data.

As you search for your favorite restaurants in Google, you'll now see estimated wait times along with the busy indicator. Simply click on the hour bars of the time you want to go to the restaurant and Google will give you the estimated wait time. You can even scroll left and right to see a summary of each day's wait times below the hour bars-so you can plan ahead to beat the crowds.

One report suggests that wait time will become available for grocery stores by Thanksgiving. But Google is about to make this information even more useful.

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