December 2021

Waiting lines in the leisure industry - yay or nay?

If you’ve experienced waiting lines at your leisure business, you must’ve seen people get impatient or even angry after waiting for too long.

It’s no secret that a long waiting line can be disastrous for your guest satisfaction. But on the other hand, could waiting lines be a good thing? People waiting in line do show that your business is up and running. 

Are waiting lines good business or bad business?

Pros and cons of waiting lines

Here’s a short overview of the advantages and disadvantages of waiting lines at your leisure business.

Pros of waiting lines in leisure

Cons of waiting lines in leisure

Why waiting lines can be beneficial to your leisure business

Are waiting lines always bad? Absolutely not. In fact, they can be very helpful for your business, as long as they’re not too long. 


Most of your guests won't realize that they actually seek out waiting lines. If you see a fully empty bowling alley, would you go inside?

Or would you rather go to the other alley across the street that seems more popular, but has a waiting line?

A queue shows that a leisure business is a fun place to go to

The underlying thought is simple - if so many people come to this bowling alley, it must be good. A waiting line increases the perceived quality of your venue. 


Your guests will perceive the value as greater than the waiting time, which means they’ll think your business is worth the wait. That’s how many guests will attract even more guests.

This applies even more to guests that don’t know your city or area well. Since they don’t know which place is good and which one isn’t, they follow other people. 


They’ll rely on what they perceive as informed guests, such as residents of the area. A waiting line indicates that your venue is popular and a good choice. 

Briq’s queuing tip - Use psychology to make your line seem shorter 

If you have a waiting line at your venue, pick the S-shaped waiting line. You know, the one at the airport that leads to the security checkpoint. The structure of this waiting line allows people to, slowly but surely, constantly move forward. 


This feeling of continuous movement will make your guests wait in line without them realizing it. Now the line won’t bother them as much.

Push food and beverage sales while your guests wait

Another great reason to not fully avoid waiting lines is that you can easily sell food and beverages. If your guests have to wait in between the activities, they’re highly likely to buy some snacks or drinks to make time pass more quickly.

So make sure you offer them some yummy food and great drinks and they won’t even be bothered by waiting, as long as it’s not for too long.


Besides food and beverages, you can also sell other activities at your venue your guests can do while waiting. For example, arcade games are a fun option. Or maybe a short heat of go-karting. 


Selling food, beverages or other activities to your guests while waiting is a win-win. Your guests have a great time, and you get extra revenue.

Start with digital waiting lines

If your guests have to wait in between activities, try using digital waiting lines. Digital waiting lines allow your guests to stay in line for an activity, without having to physically wait in line.

How? They check in with their mobile phone and get a notification whenever it's their turn. In the meantime, they can do another activity.

Why you should avoid long waiting lines at your leisure business

Long waiting lines, especially without a set timeframe, can seriously hurt your guest experience and may result in bad reviews and negative word of mouth. 

You might lose guests

Guests aren’t willing to wait for too long before entering your venue or starting an activity. The acceptable waiting time also depends on the day. For example, people are willing to wait longer during weekends or holidays because they know these are busy days. 


Long queues can keep your visitor from coming back or, even worse, make them go to your competitors. People tend to remember negative experiences more than positive ones


So your customer will be quicker to forget all the fun times and great memories at your venue, but that one time they had to wait in line outside in the rain for 30 minutes will stick to their mind like glue. 


With Briq’s booking software your guests can pay upfront

Briq’s booking software can help you avoid your guests leaving due to long queues. With Briq, your guests can pay for their tickets in advance. This means they won’t leave your venue even if the line is a little longer than they like. 


Even if your guests will wait in line, it is still clever to minimize the waiting time. Briq’s booking scheduler helps you optimize your capacity. The booking scheduler allows you to manage rush hours and decrease waiting times.

Your reputation is at stake

Especially in the leisure industry, businesses are often advertised by word of mouth. This means guests tell each other about their experience at your venue, and why others should or shouldn’t go there. 


After a long wait, it’s highly likely your guests will tell their community. That’s how a long queue can damage your reputation.

Briq’s queuing tip - How to predict busy hours to avoid long waiting lines 

Did you know that long waiting lines may be a sign that you’re not predicting peaks and off-peak moments right?

When you expect certain hours to be busier than others, you can prepare and take necessary measures to avoid long lines. Perhaps your technology needs an upgrade or you could use some data about customer behaviour to better predict busy hours. 


If this is something you’re experiencing, make sure to check out our online booking system. This booking scheduler doesn’t only make it easy for you to cut down on wait times, it also gives you insight into popular visiting times to know exactly which hours will be busy and which won’t.


How Briq helps you manage your capacity

Being bookable online 24/7 makes it a lot easier to book your venue and to manage your bookings. You can choose to avoid waiting lines, or set up a certain time you’d like your guests to wait.

It's fully up to you. Discover all features of Briq’s booking and scheduling system. Curious about the Briq journey? Read what will happen once you start using our online booking software.


Do you want to read more? Download our ebook! It’s free and packed with interesting data to generate more revenue for your leisure business.

Delphine Holbecq focuses on quality content to help leisure venues get more bookings.

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