Whether it’s a tiny gem of a restaurant, a cosy pub, or a bar with just the right atmosphere, we all have our favourite haunts to while away an evening.
And there are few things more disappointing than turning up on their doorstep – all excited for dinner/a pint/a fancy cocktail with a sparkler in it – only to discover that sorry, they’re full. There’s no room at the inn. Someone has told the rest of the world about your special place, and every single one of them has turned up to try it out.
But our days of muttering “Um, do you want to wait or try and find somewhere else?” could soon be behind us.
Google is launching a feature that allows you to see exactly how crowded a place is in real time. The new gizmo is an update to the search engine’s pre-existing Popular Times feature (the little bar chart icon you currently see when searching for a particular venue).
Using aggregated, anonymised location history data, Google will to tell you how many people are currently crowding your favourite joint, according to a report by The Verge.
As well as this real-time feature, Google will also clarify how long people typically hang out in one place, allowing you to organise your plans around that. So if the local café you fancy for brunch is currently rammed but people typically leave after two hours, you can gift yourself an extra hour in bed – see?
The new tool will also update retail hours to reflect holiday adjustments, and will be rolled out ahead of this week’s Black Friday rush.
So go forth: you need never wait in line for a table again.