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The Animated Guide To Efficient Coffee Queues

Basic tips and etiquette for waiting in line.

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Does a disorderly queue bother you? Here are 6 animations explaining the basic tips and etiquette for forming a line at a coffee shop (or anywhere else.)


1. First - remember insufficient space and poor signage is to blame for many of your frustrations.

Nathan W. Pyle / Via

There are only so many spaces to stand in a small establishment. (And a quaint, cozy shop may appeal to you when it's empty but aggravate you when it's full. It's a trade-off.)

2. As soon you enter, assert yourself. Speak up to determine who is in line.

Nathan W. Pyle / Via

In a nebulous queue situation, you run the risk of standing behind someone who isn't in line. Therefore you, by transitive property, are also not in line.

3. Once in line, stay in formation. A tight formation helps create a path for exiting customers.

Nathan W. Pyle / Via

This is the same logic that should be applied when allowing passengers to exit a train.

4. Use this time waiting to prepare for your turn in the spotlight.

Nathan W. Pyle / Via

Figure out what you want. Figure out your second choice. Get out your cash or card. Observe: is the espresso machine down? Is there a credit card minimum?

5. Once you've ordered, step to the side as quickly as possible.

Nathan W. Pyle / Via

If you have to put everything back in your wallet or bag, try to pivot your body so that the person behind you can move forward.

6. Finally, remember the person behind the counter is also a human.

Nathan W. Pyle / Via

Remember none of us have had our coffee yet. An overwhelmed barista is, much like you, a human being with a beating heart. Don't overreact to mistakes.

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