How to Control Big Crowds Without the Headache

Are the big crowds getting to your head? Have people filled your store to the point you can’t even walk without bumping into someone? Are there furious customers complaining about wait times?

Managing the hordes of customers that impact your business can be a real headache. It’s all about striking the right balance between keeping your customers happy and making sure there’s still some breathing room for you and your employees.

The classic solution to crowds? Make them all wait in the same line. Everyone else is doing it, and customers came to accept it.

But having one really long line is a surefire way to get on your customer’s bad side. If you’re a restaurant, that means lower tips. If you’re running a small retail business, that means lower customer satisfaction and product sales. Running an event with uncontrollable crowds? People would rather leave early and never come back than deal with hitting shoulders and elbows with every step they take.

I’ve been in the stanchion and crowd control business for more than 10 years, and I’ve seen it all. Over the course of my career, I’ve picked up a few simple tips and tricks that will help you control your crowds.

Is crowd control giving you a headache? Here’s the aspirin.

VIP Lanes and Passes

Who says all customers have to be equal? Why should there only be one line? Why do our most loyal customers always have to wait in line?

Creating a VIP Lane or passes to skip the line can be an effective crowd control method to speed up the line for your most valued customers. You don’t have to roll out a red carpet, just setting up an extra lane or sending them an email with a VIP pass is more than enough.

Businesses often overlook the fact that should be leveraging repeat customers. According to SumAll, businesses with 40% repeating customers generated nearly 50% more revenue than similar businesses with only 10% repeat customers.

Repeat business is business that you’ve already paid for. There’s no need to spend more money on getting new customers when you can keep working with the loyal ones.

The key to making sure your old regulars keep coming back? Make sure they feel special.

Nothing screams "me" more than VIP

Popular Times on Google

If you’ve recently googled your favourite restaurant, you might have noticed a nifty chart pop up that looks something like this.

This shows chart shows the amount of traffic your customers can expect at a certain time of the day. If this feature is set up, your customers will start picking less frequented and popular times to visit your business. It’s a feature that is gaining traction, as more and more consumers are looking to avoid long lineups and huge crowds.

To set it up for your business, make sure to list your hours of operations. Google will start tracking your the times your customers visit your business. Once Google has collected enough data, you’ll see this nifty little chart pop up whenever you google your business.

Your customers are going to love the shorter lineup at 5pm. You are going to love the smaller crowds at 7pm.

Stanchion Layouts, Less is More

How you lay out belt stanchions to create lineups can have a significant impact on the efficiency of your lineups and overall customer satisfaction. A poor layout of stanchions will result in increased wait times, and a frustrating customer experience that makes them less likely to return to your business.

Fun fact. Though we may hate the lineup that stretches around the block, having one lineup is better than having several lineups. With one line up, the traffic is continuously flowing, giving your customers the impression of a faster moving line. The other benefit is that your customer will not have to guess which line will be the fastest. It’s a frustrating feeling when you line up right behind someone who is trying to pay with exact change in coins.

Looking for more tips and tricks? We wrote a whole article on how lay out your stanchions.

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 and we can talk about your business’s crowd control needs, and how we can help you with that.

Based in Toronto Canada, Alpha Crowd Control is a crowd guidance solutions company, selling retractable stanchions, scissor gates, and stanchion accessories. 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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