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September 2019

How to Get Your Food Truck Queues to Move Faster
By Richard Myrick for Mobile Cuisine

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At some point we all find ourselves standing in line. Never fun, but it feels better if it moves at a nice clip. The thing is, you can get the same effect by making the line appear to move quickly. Managing appearances means managing your customer’s perceptions. Here’s how:


Queue Management

  • Be sure to have a line, not a crowd, standing in front of your service window. An orderly progression towards the service window gives customers a sense of calm.
  • Keep your queues narrow. Single file lines move more quickly.
  • Arrange the line so those waiting can see the person currently being served. Watching another customer being served makes your place in line appear closer. When the actual service is out of site, your turn can seem miles away.
  • After each customer is served, use a light, bell or chime to announce to everyone 'Next!'. This keeps the next person alert (saving time between customers) and gives everyone a regular cue that the line really is moving.
  • When the wait is truly long, send a member of your staff to interact with customers in advance. They can answer questions, provide information and thank them for their patience. Choose staff with personality and make sure they all understand about why there is a delay.
  • Play music inside your truck that is loud enough to be heard outside. Make sure to find out at what levels your local codes permit music to be played.

Vehicle Modifications

  • Put a TV or video screen on the side of your food truck. Choose an appropriate channel for your customer base. This is a great way to toss them some advertising of an upcoming food truck event your team will be attending.
  • Cooking demonstration videos are a great distraction for a hungry crowd.
  • Have menus on display beside the line, so people will be ready to order when they arrive at your service window.
  • Provide information alongside the line to attract the attention of those who are waiting. When customers become involved, time flies faster.
  • Give customers a reason to use their mobile phone. Waiting in your line is the perfect time to check a quiz or competition you are holding on your website, or download your mobile app. Or check in to your page on Facebook, Foursquare or post a quick photo or video on Instagram.

The Bottom Line

There are so many ways to manage your customers while they wait to be served. Choose one or more of these suggestions and try them out. See your queues run smoother! Enjoy those smiling customers!


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