10 October 2019

By Richard HEITMANN – International Sales Director – AURES UK

Queueing has long been viewed as a quintessentially British quirk, up there with drinking gallons of tea and saying ‘sorry’ a lot.

But there are signs that even Brits are getting fed up of standing in line. A recent survey commissioned by kiosk vendor Kurve Kiosks found that the average person in the UK typically spends 51 minutes every week queueing – which adds up to an astonishing 47 days, or more than six weeks, over the course of a lifetime!

And rather than taking all of this lost time waiting in line with stoic resignation, the survey also found clear signs of irritation. Just under half (42%) of people surveyed said they had complained about the length of queues.

Interestingly, it also seems that our tolerance for queueing varies according to what we are having to wait for. A third said they believed having to wait to order food and drink was unacceptable, while nearly two thirds (62%) said hospitality venues like cafes and casual dining restaurants should be doing more to reduce queue times.

So, what is behind this growing frustration with queues, and what does it mean for retailers and hospitality businesses?

The internet, kiosks and helping ourselves

In all truth, it’s hard to see how anyone could ever have particularly relished the prospect of queueing. But a combination of there being little alternative and a sense of social etiquette meant most people had to just grin and bear it.

But in the modern, digital world, we have all become accustomed to an alternative form of making transactions which doesn’t involve waiting in line for our turn. Anything you buy online – whether you are doing your weekly shopping, booking tickets or a hotel room, or ordering a takeaway – you can do in your own time, exactly as and when you please, with no queues in sight.

Digital commerce has also inspired something of a do-it-yourself spirit among modern consumers. The main reason you have to queue in a traditional shop or restaurant is that you have to wait to be served. With the internet, it’s all about self-service, which again means doing things in your own time and at your own pace.

Consumers are now bringing these expectations with them when they go to a store, a cafe or a leisure destination, and that is eroding tolerance for queues. In turn, that is why self-service kiosks are growing in popularity, because they give businesses the ability to meet these changing customer expectations around service on-premises. We know anecdotally that one of the key reasons businesses are choosing to adopt kiosks is to help to reduce queue times.

That is why AURES has prioritised extending our product range into self-service kiosks. Our JAZZSCO kiosk is an innovative concept that is based on the same components and sub-systems as our latest cutting edge JAZZ EPOS terminal, bringing kiosk technology a step closer to table-top point of sale solutions.

If you’d like to learn more about the work we are doing with self-service kiosks and find out how they can help you meet the shifting demands of your consumers, we will be attending The Kiosk Summit at London’s Business Design Centre on Friday 18th October 2019. If you would like to arrange a meeting ahead of the event please email us.