You ever wondered before you go out to eat, ‘Geez, I hope I don’t get there when they are busy. It could take forever to get my food?’ Well wonder no more! Google has got you covered. Last week, Google added a new feature that provides estimated wait times for restaurants in search results.
Once it rolls out in their area, Google users will be able to see not just average hourly crowd sizes under a restaurant’s listing, but also a guess for how long it’ll take to get a seat. Google predicts it will be able to offer these wait times for almost a million restaurants worldwide when the update is completed. Also note that this capability will be extended to Google Maps at some point in the near future.
For over a couple of years now, Google has been leveraging data from Google Maps’ install base to deliver these sorts of insights. For example, back in summer 2015, it began to show mobile web users which days of the week and time of day were the busiest for local businesses using charts that appear in the business listing.
Last year, it improved the feature by offering this same information, but in real-time.
Google’s new restaurant wait times also comes from the compiled data from users who opted in to Google Location History – the same data that powers popular times, wait times and visit duration.
Look at the image above. You can even plan your visit by going during less busy time and even serves you with the average visit duration.
With this new addition, Google is kind of challenging competing apps like NoWait, which is handy for seeing restaurant wait times. But unlike Google, NoWait also lets you put your name on the list for those restaurants that don’t take reservations.
Google says this time feature will be available on both mobile and desktop.
So what are you and your restaurant going to do to capitalize on this new capability? Our advice: make sure your website has been indexed by Google. It is a small and easy step, but at least your will be on the forefront of this new feature. Customers will be looking at and for this information. Be sure you can get in front of them.
Need to pass the time between our next post? Then check out Custom Business Solutions for all your restaurant technology needs!