Get the Most Out of Your Queue Lines: Tips & Tricks for Happier Customers

A well planned and maintained queue can be the difference between satisfied guests and those who leave with a feeling of dissatisfaction. Below is a selection of “tricks-of-the-trade” we have compiled for you to help you create better queue lines.

Plan for Personal Space

[1] The first step to setting up a queue is to plan for your approximate queue size. This is calculated by estimating the space between people depending on your application. Sizing the queues space to your expected volume is crucial for smooth, organized and stress-free queuing and allows you to calculate max capacity at peak times.

Compact: This maximizes queue capacity. Applicable for stadiums, events and environments where crowding at entrances is commonplace. Patrons may expect to be in tight proximity to each other.

Standard: Strikes a balance between efficiency and comfort. Applicable for retail, banking and similar locations. Patrons may expect more personal space.

Relaxed: This provides more space for patrons. Applicable for airports and hotel check-ins where additional space may be required for luggage or personal belongings.

Choose the Right Layout

[2] Tailoring your plans to expected queue size and location is paramount. A compact retail space warrants a concise, efficient queue design, usually single lines, while a sprawling airport demands a more comprehensive and detailed layout.

Small Queues

Provide a distinct entrance and exit, using signage, that guides the flow seamlessly, minimizing any disruption to the surrounding traffic.

Large Queues

Develop operational strategies for the queue during both light and heavy periods.

  • Grid out your space to plan for changes in traffic flow.
  • Consider ease of access to “short cuts” for queue management during peak and slow times, allowing for quick line adjustments.

Each Step Closer is a Win

[3] Additional barriers and excessive turns might imply a lengthier route, which we instinctively aim to avoid. Each step should bring the line-waiter closer to their destination, do not have your queue backtrack. Create better queue lines by enhancing your efficiency.

A Space for All to Wait

[4] Make sure all visitors have ease of access to your queue. Wheelchairs, walkers, motorized scooters, etc., must be able to access and navigate your queue when possible. If not possible, make sure you have a plan in place to accommodate them alternatively.

Everyone’s Time is Valuable

[5] The perceived time spent waiting in line is lessened when people have something to do. Providing people with something to read or focus on assists in the attempt at waiting patiently.

[6] A single line dispersing to multiple end points helps minimize feelings of unfairness. Multiple lines may cause line-waiters to feel they are on the “wrong” or the “slower” line causing them to become less patient or even irritated.

[7] When providing an “estimated” wait time, it is better to over estimate as people feel better when things happen sooner than expected. Those that wait longer than expected have a higher potential for frustration.

Clear Information is Key

[8] Clear and concise signage can make line-waiters feel at ease. With proper signage a visitor will be able to confirm where to enter, where to go, what materials to have ready and that they are headed towards their desired destination.

[9] The beginning of each queue line should be clearly marked to avoid guest confusion and frustration.

[10] The destination/end of the line should be visible from the line entrance whenever possible to allow patrons to have a clear view of their goal, a sure fire way to Create Better Queue Lines.

Direct from a Distance

[11] High visibility signage is a must wherever large crowds gather. They can ensure your branding initiatives get noticed, or help fans spot directions and key information even in a sea of fans.

Walk Under Signs and 6′ tall signs at start/wait points allow for easier navigation from a distance.

Ensure Proper Egress Routes

[12] Seamless egress within queues isn’t just a convenience; it’s a paramount safety consideration. Be it a sudden fire outbreak or an unexpected safety issue, a well-designed egress system provides an essential exit route. With magnetic, rubber break- away belts and gates strategically placed in your queue, you can ensure safety for all your guests and employees.

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