3 Effective Stanchion Layouts for Killer Crowd Control

Are you struggling to control crowds? Manage overflowing customer lineups? Congratulations! With so many customers you must be on your way to running a successful business.

One of the most important tools for any business looking to manage crowds is the retractable stanchion. Stanchions are upright posts that can be connected together with belts or rope in order to guide crowds. The most common variety is the retractable stanchions, which uses retractable belts to connect the posts together and form barriers to guide crowds. They are most visibly used in airports, but businesses from Tim Hortons to your local pawn shops all use stanchions to help manage lineups and crowds.

When creating a crowd control layout, it’s important to realize that there is no one-size fits all solution. Every business has a unique customer traffic, floor space, and crowd management needs. The key to creating effective floor plans and layouts is to understand the crowd that you are handling.

We’ve compiled 3 of the most effective retractable crowd control layouts for you to use. Keep in mind that they’re not fixed in stone. Consider them templates that you can modify to suit your specific needs.



This simple layout aims to optimize floor space by creating a weave that guides your customers. The layout is ideal for retail stores, airports, and ticketing offices which have a floor space of at least 8 x 3 metres.

Stanchion Estimate: 12


Not enough floor space for a U-Shaped design? This simple design is great for smaller areas such as coffee shops, clerk lines at retail stores, or fast food establishments. Consider using this layout if you want to save space for your displays,  menus, or walking lanes.

Stanchion Estimate: 8

U-Shape w/ Express Lane

Are there some customers you really want to please?  Rewards members, long-term clients? They shouldn’t have to wait in a line with the rest of the rat-race. Beside a U-Shape line, set up 3 stanchions to create an express lane for your business’s valued VIP’s.

This setup is great for situations such as a movie theatre, airport lines, and amusement parks. These are businesses with high traffic and where there are often customers who have a designated VIP status. Also consider using this stanchion layout to create an accessible lineup for those with disabilities such as wheelchairs.

Stanchion Estimate: 15

General Tips and Tricks:

Less is More

One line is better than two. Multiple lines are inefficient and can cause line jams, where customers or employees who take longer may hold up the line. Ever been held up at a Tim Hortons because someone was looking for change? That’s no fun at all.

Single lines minimize the delays of customers and employees that take longer amounts of time. In addition, single lines give customers the feeling that they are always moving and reduces their feelings of frustration and irritability. That’s a good thing for your employees.

Angled Turns

It’s a known fact that humans are all lazy. We tend to take the shortest route possible. One issue this brings up is when we lay out our stanchions with rectangular turns. Often, the space around the corners will not be used by customers.

The solution? Narrow the path of your layout and angle the corners of your layout. This gives customers clear layouts and optimizes your space use. The bonus? You’ll actually be able to fit more customers with this layout than in the original.


One of the most important aspects of any stanchion layout is having signs to direct customers and provide them instructions. It helps you avoid problems like customers entering the wrong line or asking your busy employees simple questions. You can purchase frames that will attach right to the top of your stanchion.

As a bonus, you can utilize signs as a marketing tool to promote sales, special offers, and new events. You rarely find a more captivated (or bored) audience than when they’re waiting in line. So make the full use of the space!

Add Stanchions to your Crowd Fighting Arsenal Today!

Stanchions are a must-have for any business looking to control crowds and line ups. They’re cost-effective, flexible, facilitate communication, and are all-purpose.

Send us an email at info@alphacrowdcontrol.com and we can talk about your business’s crowd control needs, and how we can help you with that.

Alpha Crowd Control is a crowd guidance solutions company, selling retractable stanchions in Toronto, Canada. Our focus is on high-quality, affordable products accompanied by top-of-the-notch customer service. Give us a call today.

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