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Cheap Queue Barrier Options

Posted By:

XL Displays

Date:

06 October 2021

Reading Time:

13 Mins

This news article is also featured in:

Queue Barriers

Cheap Queue Barrier Options

If you work in retail, hospitality, events, entertainment or transport, the chances are you’ve been faced with creating a queue system for your business before. But is there a way to create a smart, effective queueing system using a cheap queue barrier? How much do you really need to spend on your queueing system?

Cheap queue barrier options vary from £15 to £695, and in this article, we will outline the different styles of cheap queue barriers available and also delve into the psychology behind queueing, and why it’s just as important to understand how queueing affects customers as it is to choose the right queue products.


What is a queue barrier?

Essentially, a queue barrier is a product designed to help manage the flow of foot traffic and crowds at busy exhibitions, museums, tourist attractions, airports and entertainment venues. They are available in a range of different styles, including the most popular styles of retractable and rope barrier systems.

What are queue barriers used for?

Queue barriers can be used for several different purposes in a wide variety of different locations including airports, retail, hospitality, entertainment venues, events, exhibitions, museums, hospitals and public buildings:

  • Organise & Structure Queues - Most obviously, queue barriers are used to create straight or serpentine queues to control crowds of people in busy waiting areas.
  • Improve Waiting Times - Carefully controlled queue barriers can help direct the flow of traffic in a calm, efficient manner, reducing wait times through organisation.
  • Cordon Off Special Areas - Queue barriers aren’t just about giving people an organised place to wait - you can also use them to indicate off-limits areas such as staff corridors or even dangerous zones in places like warehouses or airports.
  • Implement Social Distancing Measures - As we continue to live with the effects of Coronavirus in our society, maintaining some social distancing regulations is necessary. Queue barriers can help to implement measures such as reducing crowd numbers in indoor spaces.
  • Promote to a Captive Audience - While people are queueing, you have them in a set location for a longer period of time. This makes queue lines an excellent location to place advertising or promotional materials to catch people’s attention.

For more information about how you can use your queue barrier, our blog 5 Benefits of Queue Barrier Systems has plenty of tips.

What is Queue Psychology and why is it important?

The first person to introduce the theory of queueing was Agner Krarup Erlang, a mathematician and engineer, in the 20th century. His initial research delved into the psychology behind queueing, a subject which has been studied repeatedly in the years since. Harvard Business School professor David Maister, for example, outlines 6 key queue psychology principles you should be considering when setting up a waiting line:

  • People are keen to get started

Nobody enjoys waiting in line; everybody wants to get to the front, complete their business and get on with their day. You can ease queueing frustration by making people feel like they have already started their purchase process during the queue process. For example, handing out menus outside a restaurant so people can choose their meals and be ready to order the moment they sit down. This makes them feel like they are actually ‘saving time’, leading to reduced frustration.

  • Uncertain waits feel longer then finite ones

‘If there is no indication of how long a wait will be, people perceive waiting periods to be 23% longer.’ Giving estimates of queue time is an essential feature for longer queues as it gives people realistic expectations. We recommend overestimating wait times, rather than underestimating them, as then when people reach their target ahead of schedule, they leave with a positive memory of the queue experience.

Cafe Barrier System Deluxe Banner

Cafe Barrier System Deluxe Banner

Queueway Retracting Belt Barrier Pair

Queueway Retracting Belt Barrier Pair



  • Unexplained waits feel longer than informed ones

‘Waiting in ignorance creates a feeling of powerlessness, which frequently results in visible irritation and rudeness on the part of customers.’ In many queue situations, such as airports or checkout lines, the process is familiar, so people understand and accept why they are waiting in line. However, in other locations, or in situations where wait times are unexpectedly long, letting people know why they are queueing helps to reduce tension and anxiety.

  • Unjust waits feel longer than fair ones

A queuing system is a microcosm social construct and its fairness should conform to the general cultural perception of social justice in the particular society.’ Most of our modern queue lines are based on the first-in, first-out (FIFO) concept; which is widely considered to be fair. However, creating a queueing system which prevents ‘queue jumpers’ is essential: people need to feel like everybody is waiting their turn.

  • Unoccupied waits feel longer than busy ones

Standing around for even a few minutes with nothing to do can feel like an eternity. Giving your customers something to occupy themselves with while waiting in line helps to make the time pass more quickly. Promotional materials, informative advertisements and videos and even QR code posters they can scan on smartphones to take them to your website give your queuers something to do.

  • Anxiety is your enemy

Queues, particularly retail queues, are a natural anxiety flashpoint which can lead to tensions and ‘queue rage’ if not properly controlled. People waiting to purchase a ‘limited edition’ item, for example, will become vastly more anxious if presented with a ‘countdown’ of how many are left. In addition, multiple queues also cause anxiety as people look around to see ‘which is moving faster’. This can lead to frustration and anger. Generally, a single long serpentine queue with multiple exits at the front is the most effective way to reduce queue anxiety.

When constructing your queue, it’s important to think as much about the psychology of queueing as it is about choosing the ideal queue barrier product. For more information on creating the perfect queue system, you can visit our blog: How to Implement an Effective Queue Barrier System.

What are the types of queue barriers?

There are several different styles of queue barrier to choose from:

  • Retractable Queue Barriers - these are the most popular style of queue barrier. They are composed of weighted stanchion posts with retractable belt cassettes at the top, from which you extend a webbing belt which can be clipped into the next post.
  • Wall-Mounted Retractable Barriers - working in the same way as the standard retractable barriers, instead of being located at the top of a floor post, these cassettes are fixed to the wall and the belt extends from this wall bracket, and clips into either a floor post receiver or wall-mounted receiver.
  • Rope Queue Barriers - traditionally found outside hospitality venues, these classic queue barriers give a more elegant feel. Velvet or braided ropes are clipped into weighted metal stanchion posts with inbuilt rings.
  • Safety Barriers - comprising a range of different styles and designs, this category of barrier is designed with safety in mind, pure and simple. High-visibility finishes and practical designs mean these options are ideal for cordoning off danger zones or accident sites.
  • Cafe Barriers - falling equally under the banner of ‘advertising’ as of ‘queue barriers’, cafe barriers can be used to create queue zones as well as sectioning off areas outside hospitality venues. In addition to their stanchions they include bespoke printed banners, which hang between the posts.

As part of these wider collections, we sell different ranges of queue barriers including our Queue Solutions, Skipper™ and Tensabarrier® systems.

How much do queue barriers cost?

It is very possible to purchase cheap queue barriers that are still durable, high-quality products. Within the different styles of queue barrier, we have products ranging from affordable, cost-effective queue barriers to our more high-end items.

For more information about our queue barriers, please reach out to our team on 01733 511030 or via our Contact Us page. 

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