SAN FRANCISCO — Table for two, no wait?
Google knows that waiting is the hardest part for impatient diners. So it's offering to ease hunger pangs and save time by helping them snag a table faster.
The Internet giant announced Tuesday that Google Search (and eventually Google Maps) will show diners the estimated wait times for local restaurants to help them skip the crowds and jump the lines.
The new feature expands on Google showing consumers looking to change their oil and get their hair cut how busy local businesses typically are. Google gathers this information from aggregated and anonymized data from users who allow Google to track their location using Google apps on their phones or other devices.
Now, says Google, diners can click on a time frame and see live or historical data on how busy a restaurant is expected to be and the estimated wait time. The information will be available for nearly 1 million sit-down restaurants around the globe. And up next, says Google: Grocery stores.
Google's not the first to provide this data. Yelp's free NoWait app also shows restaurant wait times and it has an even handier feature: It lets you put your name on the waiting list at restaurants that don't take reservations. It also sends you a reminder when it's time to head to the restaurant.