People don’t queue at bars.
The bar becomes a flat structure where the only way to signal your turn is to make eye contact with the bar tender.
When the bar is busy, this tactic can prove to be thirsty work.
People with large personalities tend to get served quicker than those who are less imposing.
Despite the injustice of the whole system, people will not form a conventional queue.
So, if this was a marketing problem here is the brief:
How do you stop punters either A. leaving or B. fighting each other as a result of the frustration that comes from trying to get a drink at a busy bar?
The obvious route to go down would be to increase the speed at which you serve drinks.
Although this could help, you are putting yourself into a game that you cannot control.
If the bar gets especially busy you may become overwhelmed and end up missing someone out.
Or what if the beer runs out and you need to change the barrel?
Counting the change that the local who lives next door gives you is an unforeseen burdon.
You see, the speed at which people are served once the bar tender gets to them is not the problem.
So to answer the brief we need to find the real problem.
If people end up leaving or fighting the biggest effect to the bar owner will be loss of revenue.
All of the time your customers spend leaving and fighting is time that they cannot spend giving you money in exchange for drinks.
That is where the genius of a beer festival I attended last week comes in.
Each stall selling beer would not accept cash.
Instead, thirsty punters were required to purchase beer tokens at a separate kiosk.
People don’t queue at bars, but they do at a kiosk.
This meant that an orderly queue was formed at the kiosk whilst each bar could concentrate on serving drinks only.
The beer festival answered the true brief.
How do you continue to take money in exchange for drinks during periods of extreme busyness at a drinking establishment?
The owners of the beer festival spotted the true problem and then they played a game in which they could control the odds and win.
That is creativity.
Turning a problem into a solution.
Getting drunk people to form an orderly queue to give you money.