Google has a brilliant new tool for avoiding long lines at stores and restaurants

Google has added a new tool to its search bar that helps people avoid long lines at stores and restaurants.

The feature reveals peak traffic hours for millions of businesses on every day of the week, the company said in a blog post.

The tool is accessed by searching for a retailer, then tapping on its title. A graph appears showing average traffic for every hour of the day.

For example, the feature shows that the Shake Shack location in Madison Square Park — which is one of the busiest locations in New York City — has peak traffic on Wednesdays around 7 p.m., Saturdays around 3 p.m., and Sundays around 2 p.m.

“Do you ever find yourself trying to avoid long lines or wondering when is the best time to go grocery shopping, pick up coffee or hit the gym (hint: avoid Monday after work)?” Google’s post reads. “Now, you can avoid the wait and see the busiest times of the week at millions of places and businesses around the world directly from Google Search. For example, just search for “Blue Bottle Williamsburg,” tap on the title and see how busy it gets throughout the day.”

If widely used, the feature could actually help some retailers by encouraging customers to visit during off-peak hours.

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