Sci-tech

Google Maps and Search will soon tell you wait times at restaurants

Google Maps and Search will soon tell you wait times at restaurants

Google wants to help you avoid long lines at popular restaurants.

Diners will soon have a new tool to balance hunger and patience when Google adds a new feature to help dodge long wait times at popular NY restaurants.

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. It essentially tracks your location to give you useful tips and info based on where you are.

Google says that this feature will soon launch for both Search and Maps, so it sounds like there's a little bit of a wait left (which is kind of ironic given the subject matter of this update).

The search giant debuted a new tool on Tuesday that lets people see the wait times at nearby restaurants. Users will also be able to tap on any of the bars in the chart to get information on the estimated wait time.

Google Maps and Search have received some handy new features throughout the year, but this newest addition might be the best one yet.

Of course, wait times aren't just an issue at fine dining establishments. The predictions are cobbled together using Google's cache of "anonymized historical data", the industry's trick for calculating popular times at businesses.