Queueing Sucks, and Google Wants to Help You Avoid It 

By Bryan Lufkin on at

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

The company posted the news on Google+ yesterday: 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 favourite 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 anonymised 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 queue at all.