Britain’s love affair with the queue

Britain’s love affair with the queue

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Despite recent reports suggesting that queuing is one of the main ‘misery makers’ in modern Britain – we know this isn’t always the case, and it doesn’t have to be that way!

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we thought we’d reignite your love of queues with five of our favourite queuing moments.

  • The Wimbledon queue. For some visitors, the Wimbledon queue can be more enjoyable than the tennis itself! It’s the perfect excuse to pitch up your tent, grab a picnic and on the odd occasion, enjoy the British sunshine. The event produces its own guide to the queue, it’s just that special.
  • The conga. From the origins of the Cuban carnival, conga lines are a firm feature at discos, weddings and other functions across the UK. Now while we don’t suggest trying to coax customers into starting a conga line while queuing, it may be worth trialing the effects of music. Research suggests that music can heavily impact customer behaviour, often putting them at ease during their shop and once in the queue. Removing anxiety in a queue is important as it helps to reduce the customers’ perceived waiting times.
  • Harrods’ Boxing Day queue. The retail giant, Harrods, knows what it’s doing when it comes to creating an experience for its post-Christmas bargain hunters. In previous years, customers waiting outside its London store were treated to complimentary hot chocolate, canapés and street performers to entertain them whilst they waited. Whilst being a nice touch from the retailer, it is also a savvy move to occupy customer during their wait. It is well documented that occupied time feels shorter than unoccupied time and thus helps maintain customer satisfaction in the queue.
  • The world’s longest toilet queue. Who needs a better reason to queue than to raise money for charity? As part of UNICEF’s appeal to raise funds for updated lavatory facilities in developing countries, over 750 people formed the world’s longest toilet line in Brussels. Fortunately, none of those waiting actually used the facilities.
  • The Force Awakens queue wedding. The queue for the latest Star Wars movie provided a fitting venue for a Los Angeles couple to tie the knot. With R2D2, Chewbacca and Han Solo also forming part of the bridal party, this wedding is a prime example of how queues really can bring people closer together.

While we do admit that not all queues are as memorable as these, queuing is a key part of life and isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

From a business perspective, it is especially important for retail, leisure and transport managers to consider the layout of your facility carefully in order to provide a queue management system. An effective queuing system should maximise space, lower waiting times and reduce potential queuing rage. Take a look at our range of queue management solutions to see how we can improve your customers’ experiences and enjoy the wait in your facility.

Do you have any memorable queuing stories? Let us know on Twitter @Tensator