Google Maps Can Now Tell You Wait Times at Popular Restaurants

My favorite casual restaurant in San Francisco is a Burmese restaurant called Burma Love. I dream about this salad, which is made with fermented tea leaves, as, apparently, many of my neighbors. Usually in the evenings they wait at least 45 minutes in a restaurant, sometimes closer to one and a half hours. And they don’t take orders, so the waiting time when you arrive is exactly that.

Most of the time, I don’t mind waiting (this tea leaf salad is really that good), but it would be nice to have some idea of ​​what I’m going to get myself into before going to the restaurant. Google is now making this possible by adding timeouts to Google Maps.

Waiting times are not calculated in real time (so you can still get stuck waiting unexpectedly), but instead are calculated based on historical information for the location. For example, Google might tell me that if I go for this salad at 6:00 pm on Monday, I may have to wait only 15 minutes, whereas if I want it at the same time on Saturday, the wait time may be too long. great. hour. But they base it all on when people traditionally go to a restaurant, not who is there now.

Waiting times are listed in the company data in the same place where you usually see Popular Times information. To find it, just search for the restaurant on Google Search (coming soon on Google Maps!) And scroll down to the Popular Times section. Not only does this tool show you when a restaurant is most popular, but it also offers information on what * might * wait times be when you click on the individual timelines.

All of this information comes from the same anonymous historical dataset in popular times and visit duration information, none of which are perfect. The fact that no one usually goes to a restaurant on Tuesdays does not mean that someone will not decide to have their massive 50-person birthday party here today. And in a restaurant that is usually busy on Thursday evenings, it can be a slow week and you don’t have to wait at all when you arrive. However, it can help you make an educated guess before you hit the road. Another reliable, more beta option: just call the restaurant.

As for which restaurants will now add this additional wait time information, the feature is gradually rolling out to the roughly one million restaurants on Google that offer admission tickets. At the moment it is only available in Google search (desktop and mobile). But coming soon to Google Maps for Android. Google also plans to add wait times to grocery stores in the future.


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