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How to Implement an Effective Queue Barrier System

Posted By:

XL Displays


09 August 2021

Reading Time:

9 Mins

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Queue Barriers

How to Implement an Effective Queue Barrier System

Queues. Everybody hates them. But there are ways to help your customers have a more enjoyable (and less frustrating!) experience while in your queue system. From clever layouts to queue accessories, interactive displays to social distancing; there are ways to engage and inform your customers while they queue. Read on for 5 Ways to Implement an Effective Queue Barrier System.

Find the right products

All of our queue systems are designed for effective crowd control. Managing large numbers of people, particularly in locations such as events, concerts, airports and transport hubs and exhibitions, can be a real challenge; so an organised queue system is essential if you want to avoid chaos.

For standard switchback queues (the most efficient way to line up customers) which are  ideal for coping with large numbers in open spaces with no natural funnelling properties, we would recommend our retractable queue barriers, as well as retractable barriers from our Tensabarrier™ and Skipper™ ranges . These products are designed with strong, durable webbing tapes which extend out of the stanchion post (or wall bracket) and clip into the next stanchion along (or wall bracket) to form a flexible queue barrier. 

For seating or smoking areas outside hospitality venues or events, Cafe Barriers are very practical, as they offer both a flexible product for space segmentation as well as a display function where you can showcase your branding. You can buy single barriers for use as short queue systems (outside takeaways or smaller retail outlets) or purchase kits with one or more barriers included to create a functional outdoor space best suited to your needs.

Design the layout

Time is everything when it comes to queueing customers, and the ideal queue layout should be structured, fair, and informative. When you’re dealing with large numbers of people, unstructured systems can lead to inefficient queueing, which in turn leads to longer waiting times and frustrated customers. 

Studies have shown that a single serpentine line is the most efficient method of structuring customer queues, rather than multiple straight-line queues which can cause tension and restlessness when one moves faster than another. By constructing an effective and efficient queue design, you can keep customers moving smoothly and steadily through the queue in a streamlined fashion. 

Keeping queueing customers informed about how long their expected waiting time will be is essential for implementing a pleasant queueing experience. This gives crowds more realistic expectations, reducing potential frustrations. 

You can also set up opportunities to direct customers along their journey by stationing employees strategically alongside the queue to assist them. This can be an essential way to reduce customer waiting time, particularly at places such as airports, banks or public service desks where documentation/papers are required - having members of staff stationed to offer advice and assistance can make a huge difference in speeding up the process when queuers actually reach the front desks. Clearly marked signage displays can also be just as helpful in assisting customers.

As we continue to live with the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, social distancing has become the new normal. Although restrictions have been lifted across the UK, safe and secure socially distanced queues are an essential tool as larger-scale events with bigger crowds are beginning to be allowed once more, ensuring maximum enjoyment with minimum risk. You can turn your standard queue system into a socially distanced space using post-top signage to remind people to remain 2m apart, keep their hands sanitised and wear a mask over their mouth and nose. Floor stickers at intervals along the queue also help to instruct people where to wait to maintain a safe 2m distance. Sanitising stations posted at regular places along your queue help to keep people safe and healthy.


Many of our queue barrier systems, in particular our Tensabarrier™ and Skipper™ systems, are available with different accessories to elevate your queueing set-up. These include poster sign holders, sanitiser stations, rubbish/recycling bins and others which can be used to offer comfort and convenience to your queueing customers. In addition, outside of our queue barrier ranges there are other complementary products which can be used in conjunction with your barriers to educate, inform and protect queueing customers. These include directional signage, transparent Perspex® panels and screens and even floor stickers, which help to direct the flow of traffic within your queue area. While social distancing in close quarters is still recommended to help reduce the spread of Covid, such accessories can help you to form a safe queue, minimising the risk to your customers/visitors.

SkipperQ Modular Retractable Barrier System

SkipperQ Modular Retractable Barrier System

Adfresco® Cafe Barrier Kit With 3 Banners

Adfresco® Cafe Barrier Kit With 3 Banners

Focus on Advertising

The beauty of using advertising as part of a queue barrier system is that you have a captive audience for your promotional messaging. You can take advantage of this in many ways, both by using advertising products directly linked to or set up as part of your queue barrier system, and by setting up additional products within view of your queue or waiting area such as roller banners or interactive displays.

Within your queue barrier set-up, signage that can attach directly to your barrier systems can be used for multiple purposes, such as directing the queue flow, reminding people of any social distancing requirements, or to advertise promotions or offers which they may wish to take advantage of. Alternatively, using Cafe Barriers or Printed Retractable Queue Barriers RollerSigns to form your queue gives you ample space to display branding or other eye-catching advertising.

Accessories alongside the queue path, such as Ipad stands, leaflet dispensers and digital displays, mean you can offer interactive engagement which will keep your customers entertained and informed while they wait. At larger events, exhibitions and sports matches where long queues are set up in spacious venues, why not set up sales stands along the queue length?

Choose the Right Supplier 

The team behind XL Displays has been meeting customer needs for more than 20 years, and all of that expertise has gone into curating a range of high-quality queue barrier systems. All of the queue barrier products we sell, including our Tensabarrier™ and Skipper™ ranges, have been manufactured using premium materials to ensure maximum product quality. You can see the quality of our products and the 5* customer service that comes with it by reading our Trustpilot reviews.

For more information on designing an effective queue barrier system, our expert team is available to assist you via our Contact Us page or on 01733 511030.