Data Enables Google Search To Serve Estimated Restaurant Wait Times

Getty Images  AWL Images RM

Getty Images AWL Images RM

With the addition, Google is at least partly challenging existing apps like NoWait, which is handy for seeing restaurant wait times. A chart in it lists the busiest times at the restaurant while another click shows an estimated wait at a specific time.

Planning an impromptu trip to nearby restaurant as a special treat, but also anxious that you'll have to wait hours for your food to arrive?

Wait times start going live today on desktop and mobile.

Google is adding a new feature that provides estimated wait times for restaurants in search results.

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Google's new restaurant wait times also comes from the aggregated and anonymized data from users who opted in to Google Location History - the same data that powers popular times, wait times and visit duration.

While the listed wait times are not calculated in real-time - this would nearly certainly raise privacy issues - Google says that a fairly accurate estimate can be displayed using "anonymized historical data" which works in much the same way as the calculation to determine busy times for venues.

Users will find that directly below the graphed data showing popular times, Google will now show estimated wait times if you were to walk in the door at that very moment. For now, Google is only talking about getting tables at restaurants, but a support page suggests that other business types, such as grocery stores, will be included in the future.

Google says millions of restaurants will be participating at launch.

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