The feature will be arriving in Google Search first, followed soon after by Google Maps. The predictions are cobbled together using Google's cache of "anonymized historical data", the industry's trick for calculating popular times at businesses.
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Google Search is a quick way to get information on businesses, especially if you want to check to see how busy a place might be before you're able to pop in for a visit yourself. Rolling out soon, wait times on Google Search (and coming soon to Maps) shows you the estimated wait at your favorite restaurants. But unlike Google, NoWait also lets you put your name on the list for those restaurants that don't take reservations. Like the popular times feature, Google is algorithmically calculating its estimates based on data gathered from the millions of people who've enabled location tracking on their phones.
Of course, wait times aren't just an issue at fine dining establishments. Tap the hour bars on the page to see wait times at other times of the day, too.
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If you're planning a few days ahead you can swipe left or right to see estimated wait times for every day that the restaurant is open. Yes, it's an opt-in feature, and yes, you've probably opted-in, because it makes Maps and Search a lot more useful.
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