By: Nick Gambino

Wait times at restaurants is an archaic system put in place by the man to keep the little guy in check. “You’re hungry? Good. Then you’ll wait 45 minutes before you can even sit down and begin to entertain the thought of consuming food.” The whole thing is rigged to keep the hungry in their place. I for one am sick of it.

Thankfully, Google just announced a new feature coming to Search and Maps that will help us avoid those restaurants with absurd wait times. Now when you check out the business listing of a restaurant in your search results or while in Google Maps, you’ll see the estimated wait time.

This is true for nearly one million restaurants. The times show up in a series of bars for every hour of the day that the establishment is open. So if you’re planning on going later that evening you can get an idea of the amount of time you’ll be waiting around. You can then choose to make other plans or stick it out like some sort of masochist.

Now you can use these times to determine the best time of day to visit. It’ll give you an idea of peak times versus off-peak.

This won’t be completely accurate though. Per Google, “Wait time estimates are based on anonymized historical data, similar to how we compute the previously launched Popular Times and Visit Duration features.” This refers to the feature added earlier that gives you an idea of when businesses and other public places will see the most crowds and how long people tend to stay. This did not include eateries.

The new feature began its rollout on November 7th, just in time for the holidays. It’ll first appear in Google Search with Google Maps arriving shortly thereafter. Perfect timing to avoid getting hangry when you should be in the festive spirit.

Is this feature helpful to you when deciding on a place to eat? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.