Google has announced that it will now be showing estimated wait times at restaurants, an expansion on the previous feature which showed the busy times for a business. That feature was first launched in 2015, and was updated last year to show in real time. Google users will be able to see the data under ‘Popular Times’ below the usual restaurant reviews.
The wait time data is drawn from aggregated and anonymized data from phone owners who use Google Location History, which also supplies information for traffic.
Yelp also has a similar function, which it inherited when it acquired online reservation company NoWait in March – the move on the part of Google is largely seen as an attempt to cut in on Yelp’s dominance of the eating-out market.
The roll-out of the feature is uncertain with Google saying that the service includes “all your favourite restaurants,” without specifying what that means, and that the feature will “roll out soon” without giving specific dates.