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Why is Google showing incorrect wait times for our restaurants? Usual wait is <1hr and it shows 3 hr 5 Recommended Answers 60 Replies 35 Upvotes
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We would like the Wait Times feature on Google Search and Google Maps to more accurately show average wait times for each location. It seems to show an average wait time of 3 hours when less than 1 hour is more accurate. In fact, its very likely closer to 15 - 25 minutes.
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We're having the very same issue at our restaurant as well. I just noticed it today. We're in low season in a resort, in the middle of a Pandemic, with very low visitor traffic, and it's showing a wait time of 45 minutes. Actual wait time is zero. Even in high season the wait time is minimal. Certainly nothing approaching 45 minutes.
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It's happening at our restaurant too.  Wait time should be more like 10-15 minutes.  Restaurant name is Pomella in Oakland, CA:

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It's happening at our restaurant too.  Wait time should be more like 10-15 minutes.  Restaurant name is Pomella in Oakland, CA:

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I'll wait until some of the others chime in and give examples so I have several to send to Google.
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This is also happening for a few restaurants that I manage a GMB listing for. This includes:
Camp Ticonderoga in Troy, MI: https://g.page/r/CamzLnu7m1pvEAE
Moose Preserve Bar & Grill in Bloomfield Hills, MI: https://g.page/r/Cfn6KCvf5oitEBA
White Horse Inn in Metamora, MI: https://g.page/WhiteHorseInnMI?we
Deadwood Bar & Grill in Northville, MI: https://g.page/deadwoodbarandgrill?we
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Thank you so much!
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I have raised this to the GMB team and will let you know when I hear back.  I checked my favorite restaurant as well and noticed it has a 1 hr 15 min wait in the middle of the day on a Thursday which is verrrryyy inaccurate.  
 
 
Joy Hawkins, Google My Business Product Expert
Owner of Sterling Sky and the Local Search Forum

Please note that this forum is moderated by volunteers known as Google Product Experts who are not Google employees and are merely advising on best practices and interpreting Google's policies based on their experience.
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Here are a few more. 3 hour wait times across the board it seems.

BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
Address: 13130 Jamboree Rd, Irvine, CA 92602



BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
Address: 5613 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008



BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
Address: 5881 Centennial Center Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89149

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Hello- I am having the same issue with my business. It claims wait times are around 1:45 but that is certainly not true. Somedays in the summer potentially we can hit 45 minutes but no where near an hour and 45. Especially during this season. There seems to be no option to change it? People do spend lots of time here having drinks and coffees (it is also a cafe) reading the papers etc so I understand that but not at all the wait time for food.
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I have the same issue, no wait time, need it change or deleted, no wait time, especially in this environment, would think Google would make that area editable Name of restaurant Mis Suenos, 7335 W. Greenfield, West Allis Wi.
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Yes happening at my restaurant too, the candlelight inn, Scarsdale New York. We open at 11 am and is says the wait time is usually an hour and 15 minutes. I don’t want to think about how many customers this has driven away... please fix this.
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Hi everyone, same problem for us. It says that we have a 2: 45h waiting time for lunch..we serve Thai fast food so the actual time during lunch is 4-6 minutes. This is not good advertising for our company, hope Google takes a look at this if we are to be credible. Otherwise you (Google) do a great job!
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Same problem for us at Alpha Charlies Tap & Tavern. We have only EVER gone on a wait for 15 minutes twice since opening during a pandemic... 6631 S Peoria St Suite 100, Centennial, CO 80111
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We are also experiencing the same problem with The Original Hog Wild in Midlothian, IL. Our wait time is more like 20 minutes and Google is saying 3 hours. Please advise. Thank you!
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Yes, our wait times our very inaccurate.  Wait times should be 30min at busiest times. 

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It happened to our coffee shop as well. I just chatted with Google Support and he suggested me to optimize our google business page. The question is that the wait time was correctly displayed as less than 15 min last time I checked and all of sudden, it changed to more than 2 hours anytime during our business hours. That is very odd! I did notice the look of the popular time chart is different so I guess Google updated this section and messed up with their code. I was told to add more pictures and get more reviews onto our business page but what is that going to do with the wait time data? We are a coffee shop and get 95% of our order done within a few minutes. We use a very advanced POS/Kitchen display system that tracks the time of each order from the time it is placed to the time it is fulfilled so we know precisely what our average wait time is!  Something is fishy here and Google needs to do something immediately to correct it.
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Our wait time is also showing 3+ hours when our average pickup is 15-20 minutes and delivery is 45 minutes. Customers have told us it has caused them not to order, directly impacting our business and sales. We would rather be without this feature all together. The restaurant name is The Pizza Gallery in Burien, WA. Someone please reach out to me ASAP.
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Hey Guys,
 
I heard back from Google and they said this feature is currently working as intended.  
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Thanks for checking Joy but working as intended? What exactly is Google’s intention for showing 2 hrs of wait time for a local counter service coffee shop? And then the support told me all I need to do to correct it is to upload more pictures to my business profile and get more reviews . Can someone tell me why online photos and reviews have anything to do with wait time?
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Frank,

Yeah, that advice is pretty terrible.  They have absolutely no relation.

I agree with you that this is dumb so please keep encouraging people to add examples to this thread.  I am hoping with more volume I can get them to prioritize this better.
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If Google's intent is to show grossly inaccurate wait times which negatively impacts my restaurant then yes, it is working perfectly. 

If, however, Google is trying to provide current and accurate wait times for the public,  they are totally missing the mark. Please fix this now. 

I have zero wait during the week and most days are showing 2 hours. Weekends I generally have 15 minutes or less with our speedy table turn, yet it shows a 3 hour wait. False. Remedy this.

Best to all in the industry!!

Mike
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Yes, Joy, we need to do something together. I sent out an email to our customers and here is the email. I wish everyone who is affected by this unfair practice can work together to push Google to do something here, and quick. I randomly checked a lot of restaurants and found some do not have this issue but some do. I am not sure how Google decide which restaurant deserve to have a unrealistically high wait time to scare  customers away.  Here is the email I sent to our customers:

When the big company makes mistake...
Dear customers,
 
This email is to clarify the wrong wait time being displayed on our google business profile page. The wait time is shown as more than 2 hours any time during our business hours, which is totally wrong. At Blackwater, you can get a table almost always immediately when you come in and your order will be ready within 5-10 minutes most of the time.
 
We noticed that a lot of other restaurant owners also raised a red flag about wrong wait time being displayed on their google page in the past few days. We have contacted Google and hope Google will fix this problem as soon as possible. Some restaurant owners said that they lost orders due to this wrong information.
 
This wide spread misinformation adds insult to injury for a lot of restaurant businesses as the whole industry is still going through a very difficult period. Before Google can fix this bug, we encourage you to check with restaurants directly about their wait time, instead of relying on the numbers being displayed on Google business page. We all thank you for your continued support, not just for Blackwater, but for all hard working business owners and workers in the food service industry.
 
Please spread the word so together we can push the big tech company move faster to correct their mistakes!
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Hi there - I'm seeing this too for my favourite fish and chip restaurant in Pembrokeshire.  This is definitely not correct, the wait time is about 30 to 40 minutes tops. https://www.google.com/maps?cid=3457266222065992547
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This is showing a 2-hour wait for our favorite local Mexican restaurant - there is NEVER More than a 20-minute wait, and that's incredibly rare (mothers day/fathers day, maybe) 

This feature is REALLY busted! https://goo.gl/maps/mUA6TRstQMKH22BG6
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I’m seeing this for my favorite Mexican restaurant . Wait time is max 20-30 min. https://g.co/kgs/egT1Qp . I’ve never seen more than a 30 min wait even if that.
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Hello,

Olive Garden allows their guests to join the wait list from home for their 800+ restaurants. The wait time is displayed on the restaurants' location detail pages and is updated in real-time as guests are checked-in / seated in the restaurants.

Upon review, several restaurants displayed very different numbers between Google Popular Times and the estimated wait time displayed on the restaurant's location page. For example, the Olive Garden in Orlando, FL (Millenia) showing up to 2:45 min wait time on Google while restaurant shows no wait time:

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Hi Joy, thank you for looking into this! I checked 10 Chicken Salad Chick listings and their average wait times are definitely amiss. Here’s the details for the 10 I checked:
 
Chicken Salad Chick
2416 Dawson Rd, Suite 1 & 2 Albany, GA 31707
 
Chicken Salad Chick
1024 MacArthur Dr., Alexandria, LA 71303
 
Chicken Salad Chick
6124 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76116
 
Chicken Salad Chick
7917 Beechmont Ave, Suite A Cincinnati, OH 45255
 
Chicken Salad Chick
3900 Arlington Highlands Blvd., Suite 101 Arlington, TX 76018
 
Chicken Salad Chick
4 South Tunnel Road, Asheville, NC 28805
 
Chicken Salad Chick
196 Alps Road, Suite 42A Athens, GA 30606
 
Chicken Salad Chick
2810 Paces Ferry Road SE, #310 Atlanta, GA 30339
 
Chicken Salad Chick
1345 Opelika Rd, Suite A Auburn, AL 36830
 
Chicken Salad Chick
6575 Mechanicsville Turnpike Suite 1A, Mechanicsville, VA 23111
 
Please let me know if you’d like more examples for Google. Thank you!
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Thank you Carrie and Carrie for speaking up. I am glad that you are helping your favorite restaurants! Please ask your family and friends to check their favorite restaurants and spread the word. Google has to correct this right away, before this does more damage to already struggling local restaurants.
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According to a Google engineer:  the wait time estimates are all contingent upon “anonymized historical data,”. 

Their help files indicate: wait time is based on patterns of customer visits over the last several weeks.

But clearly that is not the case. 

In virtually every restaurant I looked at with which I have personal knowledge, Google has it wrong. 

Several examples: 
the bistro olean ny there is NO wait time despite Google's claim
beef n barrel olean ny  there is NO wait time despite Google's claim

One can only conclude based on this and your observations that Google's historical data is no longer accurate due to the changing nature of things. 

Joy did raise your concerns to Google and they are aware of the situation. Please keep the examples coming.
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I am seeing this incorrect wait time information for a number of restaurants that have been takeout-only since March. 

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We are an coffee shop and there is no wait time just like StarBucks. We also have a drive-thru, which is as fast as it gets. As this pandemic is going on, I doubt that most fast food restaurants or coffee shops have more than 10 minutes wait time. 

This is an error on Google’s technical end for sure. We need to keep raising the issue to them until it gets resolved.
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I reached out in a Google Support chat after being frustrated over Google showing a 3 hour wait (actually 20 minutes). They gave me a bunch of generic responses and then sent me an email saying a technical team would reach out to me. Still haven’t received an email. This is directly effecting our business. Customers have mentioned it has turned them away. Unless Google wants to reimburse us for turning away sales this needs to be figured out ASAP.
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I'm seeing the same thing here. It's 2:30 in the afternoon and Google is saying there is a 3 hour wait for a large Mexican restaurant.
 
https://goo.gl/maps/xbFb8bRDwrS8WhBZ6
 
 
 
If my response was helpful, please mark 'Recommend' near the bottom right of my response.
Find me on Twitter | DanFoland.com | SEO Director at Postali
 
Please note that this forum is run by volunteers known as Google Product Experts who are not Google employees and are merely advising on best practices and interpreting Google's policies based on their experience.
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For those of you who are frustrated of Google's slow action to correct this misinformation, here is my suggestion. I would (ironically) google your nearby restaurant and you will get a long list of restaurants. Just check each of them and post a question like the one below: 

Have you checked the popular times chart on your google business profile? Does the wait time seem correct to you? If not, you can upvote this issue and voice your concern: https://support.google.com/business/thread/75333676?hl=en#  

I just sent this question to restaurants showing up on the first 10 pages. As far as I saw, none of the locations of Starbucks, Caribou, Macdonald's or Arby's have this issue. Almost all independent restaurants have wrong wait time. 

Please we need to do this together. If each of us can reach out to 100 restaurant (just copy and paste the question to their google page) and we will be able to get a lot more business owners upvote this issue. I bet a lot of them just do not realize this huge mistake on their google profile and are wondering why their sales have been down recently.
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I also wanted to share a reply from google support: 

This email is in regards to your query where the updated wait times for your business page, ¨Blackwater Coffee & Cafe¨ were being incorrectly rendered. As discussed, we had raised your concern to our specialist team and I would like to inform you that the popular hour is the average hour of the multiple users whose location is on during there visit to the business location. For eg: If one of the user is spending 1 hr and the other user is spending 10 mins at the location, so the average of both would be considered while calculating the popular hours. Henceforth, I would recommend you to help us with  substantial proof that the data we display is wrong (If you have your own foot traffic counter), we can review the data for discrepancies.
If you have further questions related to this issue, simply reply to this email and we'll be happy to help! For additional support on a different issue, you can always reach us via our Help Center [g.co/gmbhelp]. You may receive an email survey regarding your interaction with GMB Support. We value your feedback.

So basically the answer I got is that they are calculating average duration our customers stayed at our coffee shop but does that have anything to do with wait time??? If they ask me for the proof of how fast we fulfill our orders, I fortunately have quadrillions of  data points to show them, thanks to the system we use to track our work efficiency.
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There's NO way I would wait in line for an hour and 15 minutes!! 
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I was reading that Google bases this information on user behavior - meaning, however long someone stays at the restaurant.  

We are a pickup restaurant with outdoor seating which means people come, wait for their food, and some of them go home to eat, but some of them stay.  Sometimes people stay for 30 minutes, sometimes an hour and a half.  If Google is basing their "wait time" on how long a person stays at our location they will not be getting correct "wait time" data.  There's no way for Google to actually acquire this data through only user behavior.  They would need to be tapped into our POS system and see when orders are getting keyed in, and when orders are being marked as picked up.  That's the only accurate way to know what our wait time is.

The information Google is using is misinforming potential customers and driving away sales!  We've seen a drop in sales since this information was published.  It's a major problem!
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We are having the same problem at Starland Yard in Savannah, GA. Thanks!
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I contacted Wall Street Journal today and hopefully they will do a sorry on this. This is just so irresponsible for a big tech company to hurt so many small businesses while at the same time persistently denying their wrongdoing, and refusing to correct it. Even if the mistake is made unintentionally, it is so obvious and so wide-spread, the company should address it right away. But they choose not to. Their tech support asked me for data to support my accusation and fortunately I do have such data. What about restaurants that do not use a sophisticated pos/kitchen display system that tracks each order? How do they provide such data to prove that google is wrong? If Google continues to refuse make corrections, I see future lawsuits for financial damage. Spread the words and let your fellow restaurant owners know. As I posted earlier, I tried to leave comment on some restaurants’ google business page to alert them this issue but it seems that my comment got blocked! I later tried to contact owners directly on their own website and looks like I have success there. Also if you want to know Google’s own definition of wait time, please check the following link. In their own words” Wait time estimates: This data shows how long a customer would have to wait before they receive service during different times of the day.” So who wants to wait for two hours to order a cup of coffee! Insane! If you contact google support, I would suggest you all to save a copy of the conversation so you might be able to use it as evidence in the future. In the meanwhile, like I did, you can post an update on your google page to let customers know that the wait time information is wrong. We also have a customer mailing list as we have a royalty program. I reached out to them as well yesterday and did indeed saw a bump to our revenue today. I really hope WSJ could report this story and put some pressure on Google. Everyday matters for small restaurants like us. A lost sale is a lost sale! 

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I'm a regular client of restaurant Es Brollador (Esporles, Mallorca, Spain) and never in 15 years have I had to wait for a table for 3 hours. 
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Hey Frank,

It looks like the support rep you were speaking to was confused because they were giving you the definition of "Plan Your Visit" or "Visit Duration", which is a different section.  https://support.google.com/business/answer/6263531?hl=en

Also, Google just published a blog yesterday that said the following:

"To make our systems more nimble, we began favoring more recent data from the previous four to six weeks to quickly adapt to changing patterns for popular times and live busyness information–with plans to bring a similar approach to other features like wait times soon."
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Happening at La Cazuela. During this time there was NO wait time, but GMB is showing 3 HOURS!
179 W Crogan St, Lawrenceville, GA 30046
https://www.google.com/maps?cid=16211993901693644475
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Thank you Joy for the updating but I still do not understand the explanation. Even using historical data, we should not have a 1-2 hr wait time. There is simply no wait time at our coffee shop most of the time. 

The tech support asked me to give him our order data and I did for this morning. While most our orders are filled within five minutes this morning, the wait time on our google page currently show 1.5 hrs. 

Google simply needs to look into their algorithm, find the wrong code and correct it right away. I am really not sure how may sales have lost for all the restaurants being affected.
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We're having the same issue at our restaurant as well. At 11:39am it said "Live:Busy" and it had a 3 hour wait. While we do get busy, it is never more than 20 minutes tops to get through a full line.

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The Angus Barn is one of my favorite restaurants. They are, and have been, completely booked up (They're currently accepting reservations for February 2021.)

When you arrive, there's no wait. It's reservation only and they know how long it takes to eat - (they've been serving people since 1960). I've never stood around for more than a minute or two while waiting to be seated.

Google My Business claims the wait time is 3 hours. That's incorrect.

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Hello Joy, thank you for your response. Our wait times are way off on Google. Way off. It's almost as if a competitor is sitting outside with their mobile phone generating fake wait times. We rarely have wait times even in peak season, which is mid-winter here in Mexico. Even then wait times rarely go beyond 15 minutes because we use OpenTable for our reservations and it's very accurate with how we have set it up to track and manage table turn times.

The Name of the restaurant is Baja Cantina, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The address question is unclear... are you asking for the physical address of the business? If so, you can find it and our Google listing by searching: *Baja Cantina Cabo* on Google. Thank you again.

V
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We are currently experiencing the same issues with the Machine Shed Restaurant Lake Elmo. 

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We are having the same issue at both of our locations. One location never experiences a wait time (Harvey Washbangers), and the other location never has more than a 30 minute wait time on weekends, never a wait during the week (Stella). We have lost business due to this, as people see 3 hour wait time and get scared away. This needs to be addressed!!


Harvey Washbangers: 
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I wonder who has seriously thought about a lawsuit. Anyone here? Its been a couple of weeks since this issue was raised and Google did not do anything to correct their mistake. After providing them with our own data to prove that we do not make our customers wait 3 hours in line for a cup of coffee, they stopped communicating with me. It is a global issue, as we see restaurant owners in this tread come from US, UK, Spain, Canada and Mexico. You would think they would act very quickly to address this issue, or just turn off this attribute on our business page by simply clicking a button. But no, nothing. Their indifference to the livelihood of small business owners just makes me so sick.
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I reply immediately to customers yet it says reply time is 1hr59min I do like the appointments request
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