Beating The Bar Queue: 5 Easy Ways To Get Yourself Served

Experts from Oxford University worked with Kozel to develop the winning formula

It’s the weekend, the sun is shining and that means just one thing: it’s pub time. 

But with 2017’s first glimpses of sunshine likely to inspire people far and wide to head out to their local, another problem will rear its head: queuing.

The UK may be a nation of queuing but research suggestions around 71 per cent of Brits feel frustrated when it comes to waiting in line to get served at the pub. 

Fortunately help may be at hand in the form of a new study from behavioural psychologist and Oxford University veteran, Dr. Peter Collett, who’s come up with a foolproof formula to ensure you get your drinks in good time.

It’s all part of the Kozel Are You Being Served? Report, an in-depth study of our bar habits conducted by Dr Collett and based on many hours spent speak to bar staff across the country about the best techniques for getting their attention.

A half drunk pint of beer.
Image Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

And after several hundred hours of pub-based research, Dr Willett has come up with the perfect formula for fast, efficient service, dubbed the S.E.R.V.E. method:


Slipstream – place yourself behind the customers moving towards the bar fastest


Echo – grab some glasses and a tray and channel your inner bartender


Return – go back to the same bartender every time


Vision – stay in the bartender’s eye line to maximise your chances of being next


Engage – make friends with your fellow queuers, they might just say you’re next

The magic formula
The magic formula From Kozel

Commenting on the findings, Collett said:

“When you’re queueing up in a busy pub, there are several factors that will obviously affect how quickly you get served, like the number of people waiting to get a drink. However, it gets much more complex when subtle behavioural nuances come into play. There are tactics that you can employ to get ahead in the queue, such as always going back to the same bartender or even pretending to work in the bar and walking through the crowd with a handful of empties. But, if you are too obvious in your ploys then you could end up waiting longer, with bar staff getting fed up with your pushy tactics.”

And never forget guys: waving money at a member of staff is the WORST thing you could possibly do and a sure-fire way of making the wait that bit longer.

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