Us Brits are well-known for our dedication to queues. If reputation is to be believed, we’re the top queuers in the world. That being said, according to a study by UCL, our queuing habits are governed by ‘a rule of 6’. According to this rule, we are reluctant to join a queue of more than six people and will leave after six minutes of queuing. It’s no shock then, that since the pandemic, our devotion to queuing has been tested.
As a business, there are three things to consider when formulating your queue management plan. Boredom, expectations and fairness. With these in mind, here are our top five queue management hacks that will help ease the frustration during the pandemic.
Know your peaks
More often than not, you’ll know your peak times. Although these days, it’s a little more unpredictable, it’s not impossible to figure out. Test the waters. Formulate a plan. Prepare for future peaks.
Find the bottlenecks
When it comes to queue times, some businesses are worse than others. It’s great that demand is high, but that’s not to say that your long queue isn't turning people away. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to figure out what could reduce queue times. Maybe you could recruit another barista, make use of outdoor seating, or invest in new equipment.
Activate the queue
The quality of service that your customers receive, starts in the queue. Kickstart the conversation, be upfront and honest about the waiting time. If they’re happy to wait make sure they scan into their NHS app, explain your covid procedures and offer hand sanitiser.
In the meantime, make the queue seem smaller. Provide some form of entertainment, something to occupy the time. Whether it’s good music, a puzzle for kids or a menu.
Top Tip: Laminate your menus. That way, you can wipe them clean between each customer. This demonstrates your thoughtfulness and hygiene compliance from the offset.
Let customers pre-order
Create a smoother pick-up experience by offering the option of pre-ordering. It might be one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it works. For some inspiration, check out Boston Tea Party new click and collect service in Bath and Bristol. Or if online orders are not feasible for your business, consider taking pre orders via your phone.
Accept contactless payments
Not only are contactless payments safer, but they’re also quicker. Choosing to use apps like Roqqett can reduce service time significantly. Meaning you can increase efficiency, reduce waiting times, and take more transactions.