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If you’re trying to decide what new restaurant to hit up for dinner tonight, Google Maps can help you out. Yes, you’ve been able to search the app for eateries in your area for a while now, but recently it added a new match feature that predicts how much you’ll like a particular establishment.
Now, when you tap on a restaurant, you’ll see a percentage match rating to the right of its star rating. Tap, and you get more information about that rating. In a search for Mexican restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area, one restaurant scored a 90 percent match because it was similar to another restaurant I’d recently visited and because I “seem interested in Mexican,” according to Google. (This is true.) A search for cafes brought up a variety of results with lesser matches. With Dolores Park Cafe, a popular brunch and coffee spot, I only scored a 64 percent match because I “seem neutral about notable coffee.”
In the Help section of this feature, Google explains that its matches are unique to you. It takes into account dietary restrictions or favorite cuisines you’ve listed in the app, types of restaurants and food types you tend to visit, and whether you’ve visited, saved, or rated a similar establishment. Its matches should improve over time, particularly as you rate more places in the app.
If you notice the match ratings Google offers aren’t particularly accurate to your tastes, you can improve them by rating a few places or editing your food and drink preferences. Google offers links to these two options below the match information for a restaurant.
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.