Why A Single Queuing Line May Be The Single Most Important Thing You Do In The Front Of House


Crowd Control Queuing Systems  “Any system that is inefficient will inevitably be replaced by a better one that is able to create a better outcome for all parties.”  – Glaro Inc.

Remember when hotdogs were 25 cents?  Or when a movie ticket was $4.95?

We all have memories of the past and how things werethen.

When it comes to managing queuing lines, we don’t always have the most pleasant memories in stores, hotel counters, rental car counters, banks, airlines, refreshment counters, at the movies etc.  In the past, many of you may have experienced something like the following:

“You finish shopping or enter an establishment and begin you head for the cashier or teller.  You secretly hoped for no lines but it is a busy day.  As you approach the check in or check out area you are faced with a dilemma to pick the shortest line because there are several lines.  Which would you choose?

You scrutinize each line to evaluate the features that might work for you or against you.  For example, you factor in lines with overloaded carts, many carts, and the speed of the cashier, teller, or clerk to decide if this is the right line for you.  You make your choice and start monitoring the lines.  You ask yourself “Am I on the fastest line?”  Did I make the best choice?  It is a gamble at best!

Inevitably someone got on another line and they get to the check-out station before you.

You did not blame the cashier, you blamed the store, and the reason you did is because: IT JUST ISN”T FAIR.  THEY WEREN’T THINKING ABOUT ME and my time.

Instantly a customer that has had a negative shopping experience can find him or herself not just frustrated, but blaming the store for “inefficiency,”  “bad service,”  “slow service,” or “slow lines.”  The average shopper tells 15 people when they have had a bad experience.  A post on a social network can actually reach hundreds of people in an instant.  Bad experiences travel faster and further than ever before.

What we can all learn from this anecdote: how we organize our lines IS directly related to how our building visitors feel and perceive the level of service we provide.  A company’s reputation and its bottom line can be affected by “walk aways” and bad shopping experiences or a bad experience for building visitors.

And then the single queuing line was born.  As seen in banks (like Chase) and stores like TJMaxx, in this system, all shoppers or visitors are organized into one master line.  It is finally a fair system of “first come, first serve”.  Customers are served in the order that they arrive.  The tellers call either a cash register number or a verbal cue to come to a specific teller or cashier.  Customers are much less likely to feel that they were treated “unfairly” or feel frustration in this single line “call forward” “next in line” system.  Some locations may also have an expediter to help move customers from the line to the check- out/registration station even faster.

In sum, while a single line queuing system may not be the final way to organize people, it certainly puts building visitors more at ease and creates the perception of “fairness”.  This method of organizing visitors, queue management, is a proven and efficient manner of “crowd control.”

To learn how you can keep customers happier and organize visitors better, feel free to call Glaro Inc. at 1-888-234-1050 and speak to a member of our staff.

What trends do you see in queue management?

How could you improve your own facility’s line management?