When hunger strikes and you don’t have groceries or a dinner reservation, the last thing you want to do is call or drive around hitting up every local restaurant hoping for a free table — because frankly, that’s a recipe for hanger-induced stress and bickering (I speak from experience). The easy new solution: Google Maps’ latest update, which shows how busy restaurants are in real time, kinda like it does with traffic.
For a while Google Maps has had a feature called Popular Times, which tells you when certain restaurants are generally busy, but the live update (pictured above), uses data from users currently at the restaurant. To help you make the most educated decision about where to eat, the update also lets you see the average amount of time people are spending at the restaurant along with average wait times.
Sure, it’s slightly creepy how Google basically knows where we are and what we’re doing at all times, but since by now we’re pretty used to apps mining every bit of data about us, it’s not super-shocking — and at least it’s being put to good use here.