Google Maps is for more than just navigation directions. It can provide travel times, restaurant reviews, real-time weather information, and can even let you know how long you’re going to wait to get a table at that swanky downtown restaurant.
If you want to find out how long of a wait you have next time you go out for dinner, you’re going to have to use Google Maps on either an Android or iOS device. The feature doesn’t appear to have rolled out to the web-based version of the map.
How to See Restaurant Wait Times in Google Maps
To view restaurant wait times, open up Google Maps on your phone and search for the restaurant of your choice:
- Tap More Info.
- Scroll down to the Popular Times section.
In this section you’ll find a ton of great information that has long been available including a graph of how busy the restaurant is at any given time of day, any day of the week, as well as how long people typically spend at the restaurant.
Now you should also see how long you can be expected to wait during peak hours. If you’re not planning on going during peak hours, just tap the time on the graph you plant to visit, and you’ll get the results that are relevant to you.
Google says that the average wait times at over a million restaurants worldwide are now viewable in Maps, but there were plenty of restaurants we looked up and came up with nothing.
How Does Google Get This Information?
These wait times are calculated using aggregated anonymized historical data from users who opted in to Google Location History.
If you’re unsure if you’ve opted in to this feature, you can find out by going to Google’s Activity Controls in a browser. Scroll down to the Location History section and you’ll see if it’s on or off. If you want to turn it off, click the toggle button, and in the dialog that pops up, click Pause.
This is not the same as turning off location access on your phone, so if you use Google Maps, you will continue to enjoy the same features as before. This just stops Google from storing your location history.
So what do you miss out on if you turn this feature off? Google says that Location History feeds into results and recommendations for Google products, based on places you’ve visited or makes it possible for Google to offer up traffic predictions for your daily commute.
After you turn off the feature, you can also delete the location information you’ve already shared with Google.