This particular feature has been a nice addition for Google Search, and with the inclusion of restaurants should go a long way to helping visitors. This could come in particularly handy for those bars and restaurants that don't take reservations (looking at you, Monk's).
Estimating the wait time for a table at a restaurant seems anything but a science. Google revealed today that Maps and Search will soon tell you wait times at sit-down restaurants around the world. When they're ready to launch on Google Maps and Android, Google also promises to expand the function to include grocery-store listings.
To see an average wait time, tap on a restaurant's business page.
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While the listed wait times are not calculated in real-time - this would nearly certainly raise privacy issues - Google says that a fairly accurate estimate can be displayed using "anonymized historical data" which works in much the same way as the calculation to determine busy times for venues. Moreover, summaries of each day's wait times can be pulled up by scrolling through the results. 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.
Will you be booking a fancy night out using the new feature? This will be rolling out as part of the popular times feature, which has been available in Maps and Search for quite some time.