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The Ultimate Guide to Developing Robust Queuing Systems for Web Applications

Date: 26/09/2023

Stuart Watkins

Introduction: Why Queue Management Matters

At Devstars, we’ve spent over two decades working with myriad industries, building reliable web systems prioritising user engagement and seamless experience. We’ve been particularly vested in developing robust queuing systems to ensure applications run smoothly, even under heavy traffic. Here’s our in-depth guide to achieving this feat.

In 2011, Devstars created a queue timing system for Heathrow Airport that drastically reduced transit times through immigration. The system served Heathrow and several other airports around the globe for almost a decade.

We thought we would look at how systems have evolved and how they could be done better in 2023.

The Genesis of Queuing Systems

Historical Overview

Queueing is as old as trade. However, the ways to manage it have evolved over the years. Traditional methods like manual counting and basic time estimations have long been outdated.

Traditional Methods

Even a decade ago, businesses relied on manual labour to manage queues, which was inefficient and often led to human errors.

The Technological Leap

Why Tech is Important

We live in a world of immediate gratification. Technology not only meets this demand but also brings unparalleled efficiency and accuracy. There will always be spikes in demand, but by using technology, we can reduce waiting time and make the waiting time less painful.

Types of Queue Measurement Technologies


Sensors placed strategically around a store can offer valuable real-time data. These can measure footfall, time spent in the queue, and customer emotions. Sensors could be used for facial recognition to detect the time a random subject takes to get from one location to another.

Another option we have previously explored is using the unique signature from a bypasser phone to measure queue and crowd movement. Again, this should always be anonymised and only not stored.

There are obvious privacy concerns with systems like these, and local laws and customer concerns must be considered.

Mobile Apps

Many sectors now use apps, from fast food to banks, to manage queues, offering the advantage of pre-booking and time slot reservations. Tablets hooked up to EPOS systems can allow visitors to log in and get alerts when their time is ready.


High-definition cameras equipped with AI algorithms can offer precise queue metrics and even predict bottlenecks before they happen. We have partners that are using similar camera technology to improve farming.

How Technology Simplifies Queue Management

Real-time Data

Instant information allows real-time adjustments, helping manage unexpected customer surges or lulls.

Predictive Analysis

Data analytics tools can predict queue patterns, helping businesses plan staffing and resources.

The Economic Benefits of Reducing Queue Times

Customer Experience

A well-managed queue significantly enhances customer satisfaction, increasing sales and customer retention.

Sales Impact

Believe it or not, reducing queue times can directly impact sales. A happy customer is a spending customer.

Challenges and Risks

Privacy Concerns

While technology is useful, it often comes with the issue of data privacy. Businesses must comply with GDPR or similar regulations.

Cost Factor

The initial setup cost for high-end queue management systems can be prohibitive for small businesses.

Real-world Examples

Retail: Big retail chains like Walmart and Target use sophisticated technologies to manage queues, significantly improving the customer experience. Systems such as Greetly can help manage expectations and allow visitors to understand where they are in a queue.

Airports: use technology to manage queues at security checks, immigration, and boarding gates. 

Healthcare: Hospitals and clinics increasingly adopt digital solutions to minimise waiting times, improving patient satisfaction.

Digital: In the entertainment industry, queue timing systems can manage surges online for ticket sales and album releases. Working closely with Radiohead management and merchandise company, we had up-close experience developing these systems.

AI and Queuing systems

How AI is Revolutionizing the Game

AI can analyse huge datasets instantly, providing actionable insights that human managers would take hours to compute.

Using Technology to Measure and Improve Queue Times

Case Studies

Thanks to technology, several businesses have reported a 20-30% reduction in queue times.

Future Trends:

Expect to see more AI and AR solutions designed to manage and entertain people while they wait.

How to Choose the Right Technology


High-end solutions come with a high price tag, but there are also cost-effective options tailored for small to medium businesses.


Different businesses have different needs. Ensure that the technology you choose can scale with your business.


It’s vital to consider how easily your chosen solution can adapt as your business grows.

Government and Regulations

What You Need to Know

Compliance with data privacy laws is non-negotiable. Make sure any technology you choose is compliant with local regulations.

Integrating Queuing systems with other platforms

POS Systems

Many modern queue management systems can integrate with existing POS systems, providing a seamless customer experience.


Integrating with Customer Relationship Management software allows businesses to offer personalized experiences based on past customer data.

Preparing Your Team


Any new technology will require some level of staff training. Make this process as simple and efficient as possible.


Your team must be adaptable, willing to learn, and proficient in managing the technology you implement.

What Customers Want

Customer Expectations

Today’s customer expects a seamless and quick shopping experience. Technology can meet and exceed these expectations.


Hearing directly from customers can provide invaluable insights into how well your queue management system works.

Customization Options


Many queue management systems allow for branding options so you can align the customer experience with your brand image.

Special Features

Some technologies offer special features like loyalty programs and promotional messages, enhancing the overall customer experience.

Global Trends

What the World is Doing

Globally, the trend is moving towards increasingly sophisticated queue management systems that rely on data analytics and AI.

Industry-specific Solutions


Fast-food chains and high-end restaurants alike are benefiting from specialized queue management systems.

Entertainment Venues

Stadiums, cinemas, and theme parks utilise technology to manage large crowds effectively.

Queuing systems Frequently Asked Questions

How does technology improve queue management?

Technology streamlines the process, reducing wait times and enhancing the customer experience.

What are the most common types of queue management technology?

Sensors, mobile apps, and cameras are the most commonly used technologies.

Is it worth investing in advanced queue management systems?

Given the potential increase in customer satisfaction and sales, the investment is often justified.

What about data privacy?

Compliance with privacy regulations is essential; make sure to choose a technology that adheres to legal requirements.

How can technology be integrated into existing systems?

Many modern queue management systems offer integration options with POS and CRM systems.

Your Next Steps

Implementation Checklist

Before making your choice, prepare an implementation checklist to guide you through the setup and deployment.

Getting Started

The initial phase can be challenging, but with the right planning and team training, it becomes a seamless process.

The Future of Queuing systems

Predictions and Expectations

With advancements in AI and machine learning, we can expect even more efficient and customer-friendly queue management systems in the future.

Don’t Miss the Boat

Importance of Early Adoption

Being an early adopter of this technology can provide you with a significant competitive advantage.

Wrapping Up


Effective queue management is crucial in the modern retail landscape. Leveraging technology can significantly improve customer experience and operational efficiency.

Final Words

In an increasingly competitive market, using technology to measure and improve queue times can be the difference between success and failure.

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