A new digital queuing management app for pubs and shops has been launched by a trio of travel industry executives and entrepreneurs.
Q>Q (Q less Q) has been devised to help businesses manage their customer demand while sticking to COVID-19 social distancing protocols.
Industry entrepreneur Steve Endacott founded Q>Q with non-executive directors Martin Froggatt, formerly of Travelopia and Eddie Robb, who founded Make it Social.
The Q<Q app allows customers to book fast track 20-minute entry slot on their mobile phone. Users download it by scanning QR codes or links displayed in windows or in online posts.
New uses are being offer the opportunity to trial the app with 3 free passes, after which they will be charged £1 per person so reduce the risk of no-shows.
For businesses using the app, it allows them to scan the customer’s QR code entry pass to verify they have a booking when they arrive.
Endacott said the system is more efficient for establishments than pre-book table alternatives as it will help them to maximise capacity.
“As we started to come out of lock down, it became clear that queues and more importantly the fear of queues would become part of every day life outside of pubs and popular high street shops.
“We have simply adopted learning’s from queue management, such as Easyjet’s Speedy boarding, Disney Fast pass and airport security clearance, to shape the design and implementation of Q<Q.
“Young people may be happy to queue, but higher spending middle aged customers will only return if they can avoid queuing.
“Q<Q fast passes provide kudos and certainty about getting in, making customers feel rewarded and valued. When capacity is limited, filling your locations with higher spending customers has to be a must.”
The app has a stock control set up which businesses can configure by day of the week or hour of the day.
It is also being made available for busineses to use for free and requires no integration, allowing instant role out and instant use.
Robb said: “As usual everybody seems to be inventing the wheel and trying to develop their own apps, which rarely works.
“I’m excited as I think Q<Q could become the ‘Just Eat’ of the queuing tools, bridging multiple brands and sectors.
“The key to a successful app is frequency of use and customer ulitlity, which makes it essential to have a multi-location solution.”
The Q<Q app also allows customers to avoid large queues by booking a later fast track visit entry slot meaning he establishment retains that client.
And the start-up said it will open up a new marketing channels for businesses.
Robb said: “Queues are a trading negative, but if they drive app downloads they can open up a new marketing channel direct to customers phones, that facilitates loyalty programs and 1:1 offers to incentives re-visits.
“As we all know in travel any marketing channel that bypasses google click costs is going to be a winner.
Q<Q is looking to recruit experience professionals from the travel sector as the industry make redundancies due to the COVID-19 hit.
Froggatt said: “It’s very important that industry leaders look at how they can help fellow travel staff during the coming downturn.
“A key motivation for becoming a non-exec for Q<Q , was I believe we can re-deploy travel skills in a completely new sector and Q<Q is a great way to create new jobs”