How to pick the fastest queue at the cash registry 07.06.2013


Of all the challenges we encounter when we do our shopping, this must be the biggest ever. You have done all your shopping and you are ready to pay and go home. For me, that means that I am really ready to go home. As soon as I have all my things in my cart or basket, I just want to leave the supermarket and head to the next thing. However, there is one thing that stands between me and my freedom. The cash registry.

When you are shopping, you are never alone. Which means that there will be multiple cash registries open and they will all have a line. And the biggest challenge is how you can pick the best line to make sure you are out as fast as you can.

I used to be the worst at picking the right line. I would go stand in a decent line, then change as I saw another line speed up and end up walking out much later than expected. But then I discovered that there is an easy rule of thumb that will help you be out as quickly as possible.

Pick the line with the fewest people

Yes, that is the basic rule. Look around the lines and find the line with the fewest people in it. This might sound a bit too basic, but I will tell you why this works. Every new customer brings along a fixed amount of work for the cashier. They say hello to you before they start scanning and then you have the whole process of paying. These two parts take more time than checking out the amount of groceries is buying. There is an exception. If one line has four people with two products in their baskets and the other line has three people that are all bringing two full carts, the line of four is faster.

Next time you do your shopping, just pick the line with the fewest people in it. You will be home faster and you will never pick the wrong line again.

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