Google Map data to help Bostonians avoid crowds at grocery stores, coffee shops

Google searches for “easy recipes” were at an all-time high in the Spring but now Boston residents are looking for takeout as the COVID pandemic continues, one company has found.

Google studied its Maps and Trends comparing searches to last year and at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Interest in “takeout” on Google Maps across the U.S. has gained popularity by 306{c33c21346ff5e26ab8e0ae3d29ae4367143f0d27c235e34c392ea37decdb8bed} compared to at the start of the pandemic and reservations have spiked more than 200{c33c21346ff5e26ab8e0ae3d29ae4367143f0d27c235e34c392ea37decdb8bed}, the company said.

“In the spring, Americans were optimistic about cooking at home — searches for ‘easy recipes’ were at an all-time high. But as we approach the holiday season (and dishwashing fatigue sets in), people seem to want to order in,” the company said on its website.

The spike in reservations also likely has to do with more restaurants requiring them to maintain safe capacity levels, the company said.

In Boston, interest in takeout has increased 154{c33c21346ff5e26ab8e0ae3d29ae4367143f0d27c235e34c392ea37decdb8bed} throughout the pandemic and reservations are up 273{c33c21346ff5e26ab8e0ae3d29ae4367143f0d27c235e34c392ea37decdb8bed} compared to last year, the company reported. They’re mostly interested in Thai food and Mexican.

Bostonians are also eating earlier.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, the most popular time to order food was 7-8 p.m. — now it’s 6-7 p.m.,” Google said.

The study also found that people are searching for more outdoor locations and doing more home improvements. Interest in public transit is down while cycling is up.

“From coast to coast, people are using Google Maps to have fun safely outdoors, searching for parks, waterfalls, beaches and gardens within driving distance,” the website states. “As the weather cools, searches for outdoor locations continue to remain higher than pre-pandemic.”

For those looking to avoid crowds, the study is helping people determine when best to go to the store.

Google found the busiest times at Boston grocery stores are Saturday between 1 to 3 p.m. and the least busy time is Friday at 8 a.m.

Of course, if you’re just looking to get out of the house but want to avoid the crowds, the park is least busy on Sunday mornings and restaurants are least busy late afternoon on Tuesdays.

“If you find yourself in need of a caffeine fix to tackle your holiday errands, make sure to avoid picking up coffee on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. when coffee shops across America tend to be most packed,” the website states. “And if you’re planning to shop for a holiday meal, stay away from the grocery store on Saturday afternoons between 1-3 p.m. when you’re likely to encounter long lines.”

Squared Communications found Google searches for 'easy recipes' were at an all-time high in the Spring but now people are looking for takeout

Google searches for “easy recipes” were at an all-time high in the Spring but now Boston residents are looking for takeout at the COVID pandemic continues, one company has found.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated. It previously listed Square Communications as the company conducting the research. Square Communications is the communications company for Google.

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