TECHNOLOGY

Never Wait in Line Again: This Thai App Could Eliminate Queuing Altogether

Consumers waste so much time waiting in line; QueQ could be the answer to queue-related stress

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BY Cristina Morales - 07 Jul 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Waiting in line is a bothersome yet inevitable part of being a consumer. It’s been estimated that Brits spend 6 months of their life in a queue, while Americans spend an average of 2 years of their life waiting in line. In the more densely populated Southeast Asia, one can surmise that these wait times can be significantly longer.

Three years ago, Rungsun Joh Promprasith, CEO and co-founder of Bangkok-based software development company YMMY, found himself in line at a bank for a whopping three hours. “The line extended all the way outside the building because of the volume of people,” he says. “I wished there was a way for me to leave the queue and come back when it was my turn, so I could have spent my time doing other things.”

Thus, the idea for QueQ was born. For a fee, establishments can use QueQ’s services to give their customers a more convenient and hassle-free experience, attracting more business in the process. Consumers, on the other hand, get to use the service for free when queueing to get in a restaurant. They can also choose to order takeaway via QueQ, paying on the application, where they are charged a small transaction fee.

But how does it actually work? Pretty straightforward, actually. After getting a number signifying when they will be served, users will be notified when it’s finally their turn. That way, they don’t have to waste their time standing in line.

What’s next?

Though Rungsun got his idea from standing in line at a bank, when they launched the app in January 2015, they began by making partnerships with restaurants, choosing to build their credibility first before approaching banks. Currently, QueQ is being used by around 20 restaurant chains, with 300 outlets around Bangkok.

At the time of the interview, the QueQ team was preparing to join the acceleration program at the Google Launchpad in San Francisco. “I think Google chose us to join because we have a ton of data. We track how our users behave in and out of establishments,” Rungsun says, adding that he would like his team to learn about AI and machine learning in Silicon Valley so that they could create a behavior and prediction system.

QueQ’s wealth of data is evidence of its growing popularity. “We have around 30,000 new users every month,” says Rungsun. “And we don’t spend anything on marketing. We don’t need to boost any advertising on Facebook—it’s all organic.” QueQ currently has around 650,000 users; Rungsun estimates that by the end of 2017, this figure will have grown to one million.

Rungsun says that “almost all” of Bangkok now knows about QueQ, which will make it easier for his company to expand to banks, telco outlets, and hospitals. He also plans on bringing QueQ outside of Bangkok, even looking abroad. Though he is currently interested in setting up shop in Tokyo, he says, “We are open to expanding anywhere where we find a suitable local partner.”