Google is to release a ‘wait time’ feature for restaurants

Google’s new wait time feature could put an end to unnecessary queuing. Source: Shutterstock.com

‘HANGRY’ – the state of being angry due to lack of food – has just made it into the English dictionary. It is an affliction the effects many people. But fear not: Google now has a feature that displays wait times at restaurants when you search for them on maps – meaning you can quickly find out the fastest way of filling up.

The new feature is set to be released imminently, which probably isn’t soon enough for many hungry revelers.

The feature, an extension to the already-existing business hours and busiest times features in Google, will estimate the current wait times at more than one million sit-down restaurants worldwide.

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To access the feature is as simple as appetizer, entrée, dessert. Simply open the business listing and underneath the ‘popular times’ section will be the estimated wait time, changing as the restaurant busies and quietens.

For those looking to plan ahead, Google has also installed ‘anonymized historical data’ which will show how long other people are willing to wait at the restaurant during its busiest trading hours.

For many years, Google has been leveraging data from the maps feature, which is favored by more than 70 percent of Android users.

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Similarly, the recommendation and review site Yelp has a wait time feature. It integrated the feature into the site after purchasing online reservation company NoWait in March, following a US$40 million deal.

The thousand-year-old question of ‘where to eat’ could soon be a thing of the past thanks to this new feature. However, the helpful add-on is still to be given an official release date. So for now, at least, you will probably have to carry on ringing up and making reservations – you know, the old way.