Data Enables Google Search To Serve Estimated Restaurant Wait Times

Data Enables Google Search To Serve Estimated Restaurant Wait Times

And while businesses in general have been supported for awhile to show wait times within Google Search, restaurants have been missing up until now. But unlike Google, NoWait also lets you put your name on the list for those restaurants that don't take reservations.

For example, searching for San Francisco restaurant Michael Mina using a smartphone in Google (goog) search or Google Maps brings up a section titled "Popular times" below the usual restaurant reviews.

Google today confirmed that it will give users of its Google Search and Google Maps apps the ability to pull up wait times for restaurants. But on Tuesday, Google announced in a blog post that it will calculate and display wait times at sit-down restaurants so that you can know which place will seat you immediately and which one will have you standing around getting more and more annoyed until you wish you'd just warmed up those Chinese leftovers.

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

You can also click an hour other than the current one to see Google's guess for that time of day, if you're trying to plan ahead. The estimated wait time at that very moment will serve up in the results by tapping on any of the hour bars. It will then come to Google Maps to Android, at which point it will expand to include grocery stores, the company says. This information is available if a person decides to scroll left or right through different days if you want to do some longer range planning to "beat the crowds". But it will be interesting to see if it has ripple effects.

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