At some point in everyone’s life, they have to wait in line. Few people enjoy it, so why not make your food truck queues move quickly to help keep your customers happy. Making the line appear to move quickly also makes customers happy. Managing appearances means managing your customer’s perceptions.
How to get your food truck queues to move faster:
According to MIT queuing theorist Richard Larson, “There’s no such thing as the perfect line, the trick is to convince people they’re being treated fairly.”
- 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 food truck 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 assurance that the line really is moving.
- When the wait is truly long, send a member of your food truck 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 find out what levels your local codes permit music to be played.
- 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 the customers while they are waiting in line. Choose one or more of these suggestions and try it out. See how your food truck queues run smoother and report back here with the results. We’d love to hear how they worked (or didn’t) for your food truck.