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Google activates the "waiting list" for restaurants



Google added a "join waitlist" button to selected local restaurant profile pages. The Canadian SEO Sergey Alakov spotted the new feature provided by DineTime . To participate, restaurants must have a DineTime account. 19459006 19459002 Join the waiting list. The location of the button is in the same location as "book a table". It is not clear when there will be two buttons, the waitlist feature being also enabled.

A click on the Join Waitlist button opens a screen that identifies the current wait time and allows users to enter the size of their group. This is followed by a screen confirming the user's contact information. Users receive a text updating them on their status. (Yelp offers a similar waitlist feature for its listed restaurants.)

On the other hand, DineTime also has an Alexa skill . Booking is an ability and a case of use well suited to virtual assistants and smart speakers.

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Book with Google. Reserve with Google, launched in 2016, allows users to book (and pay) bookings without leaving Google's user interface. The list of partners continues to lengthen and the program has global aspirations. Currently, outside of the United States, it is only available in Canada.

Bookings and payments are critical parts of Google GMB's engagement strategy with consumers and local business owners. It may be more of a mixed blessing for reservation providers, who are gaining distribution but essentially becoming resellers for Google.

Why you have to worry about it It took more than a decade to book online for small businesses to gain ground. There is an extremely fragmented market of suppliers, mainly focused on specific vertical markets. Distribution has always been the main problem. However, Google and, to a lesser extent, Facebook are now consolidating the market and facilitating distribution, which in turn helps vendors to sell.

Online bookings may become over time

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About the Author

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Greg Sterling is a contributing editor on the search engine. Earth. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk on the links between digital media and consumer behavior in the real world. He is also vice president of strategy and ideas for the local research association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at the address Google+ .