There are times when you are willing to endure long lines for that particular dish that you really want in a restaurant you really love. But then there are times when you probably will think it’s not worth it and you can just get it another time when the lines aren’t that terrible. Making that decision though may sometimes involve not just your hunger or your time but also figuring out what’s the current estimated waiting time. Google wants to help you make that decision by including wait times for the most popular restaurants around the world on their Search and Maps.
Included in this “database” are more than a million sit-down restaurants around the world that allow walk-ins. The data or wait time estimates that you’ll see is based on “anonymized historical data” which has similarities based on what they used with the Popular Times and Visit Duration features which they previously introduced. You have to remember of course that these are just estimates and not the actual wait times that you may encounter, but at least you have some information to base your decision on.
Just look for the restaurant you’re looking for on Search or on Maps, open their business listing and then look for the Popular Times section which is usually found at the bottom. Tap on any of the hour bars and it will show you the estimated wait time. If you need to find out the summary of wait times on other times and days, just scroll left or right below the bar hours. It’s a good way to plan your day or to decide whether or not to push through with going to the actual restaurant.
Hopefully, the data we get is more or less a good estimate. Someday, we hope we can get a real-time estimate through crowd-sourced information and even images/videos. Well you can sometimes do that on Instagram or Snapchat if you know where to look for, but to have that built-in Search and Maps would be great.