Waiting in Line Sucks, and Google Wants to Help You Avoid It

Illustration for article titled Waiting in Line Sucks, and Google Wants to Help You Avoid It

Your lunch break burrito bowl awaits, but avoiding the winding, noon-hour queue is an art. But soon, you’ll be able to work around those long lines on your grub-fetching quests—or at least anticipate them—using data from Google.


The company posted the news on Google+ today: A new service, rolling out this week, will allow users to look up a place or business on Google as you normally would and see when that restaurant’s peak hours are. Plug in your favorite cafe see a bar graph that breaks down which hours in the day are the most crowded—and when you should avoid it.

“Much like how we compute traffic data based on the anonymized aggregated movement of people on the road, we are able to determine relatively how busy a place is,” Kara Berman, Google spokesperson, says.

The service isn’t real-time, but rather aggregated and anonymous. Regular foot traffic from users who have opted into storing their location history with Google was collected over the span of several months. It’s a boon for the lazy among us. The Big G also offers you the option to order food online with a quick Google search for those of us who can’t bear to face a line at all.


Can Google also find me the closest unoccupied bathroom stall at about 1:30pm?