Trendy restaurants are fun, but waiting in line isn't. Too often, we arrive at a location to find a queue between us and our dinner. If only we could know when wait times were down so we could go out at the optimal time.
Well, Google wants to help you out with that. A new feature rolling out now in both Google Maps and Google Search displays average wait times for "nearly a million" restaurants above the existing Popular Times graph. Simply tap on any time on the graph, and the information will pop up, letting you make an informed decision about what time to go out for Sushi.
Google lets you scroll through previous day's wait info, and even displays live wait-times, to better educate you on the popularity of any given restaurant. The feature isn't live for us just yet, but we expect to see it in an update to the Google Maps and Google Search apps that should roll out in the coming days.
As to how this new feature works, Google hasn't disclosed this information, but we suspect it functions similarly to the live traffic data in Google Maps. If you have Google Search or Google Maps installed with the location permission granted, the apps can tell how long you've stayed in a certain location. Using this data, it isn't a stretch that Google could calculate the rate at which people are entering and leaving a restaurant to estimate the wait times.
While I don't see our line-waiting days completely behind us, this new feature should definitely save us all some valuable time and stress.
Well, except for the people Google tells us are waiting in line.