Google Maps Adds Anticipated Waiting Time Data
As a Brit living in America, I rely upon several of Google’s applications and services. Chief amongst these is Google Maps, as it reminds me to drive on the incorrect side of the road, and is almost as good at telling me where I am and where to go as my new wife. I use Google Maps for a combination of figuring where to go and how to get there, thanks to the Navigation feature, and tight integration with Google Search. Earlier in November, Google implemented a new feature into Google Maps: it shows you the typical waiting time at many restaurants.
The new feature shows up when searching for a restaurant. Google added the busy section some time ago, which also shows how long people typically spend in a particular venue. Now, thanks to some algorithms, Google Maps shows you how long one typically has to wait for a table. This means that with a little planning, it’s possible to avoid those especially busy times, or at least you can let people know that there’s typically an hour wait for a table at The Cheesecake Factory (other restaurants are of course available).
Customers can also tap on the busy information part of the display in order to see how busy the venue is at other times of the day and how long the anticipated wait is, plus a summary of the typical wait period for that day.
Google explains that it uses anonymous historical data to determine how long people are waiting at a restaurant, which is a refinement of the same calculations used to determine the Popular Times and Visit Duration features of Google Maps.