The eye-popping, groan-inducing truth is that Americans spend 37 billion hours waiting in line every single year. And while we can get on board with some of these waits, most of them aren’t worth it. On any given day in any given place, the average person is wasting their time waiting. And here at Waitlist Me HQ, that’s not something we believe in.
Not sure if your wait is worth it? We’re breaking down the types of situations that warrant a wait and the ones that don’t to ensure that you, dear reader, get the most out of your most valuable commodity: time. Scroll down for four worth-it waits (and four more that should make you walk).
Getting your grub on? Don’t be so quick to join the line.
Wait for…pop-up restaurants. If you have your eye on an hour-long wait, make sure that you’re waiting for something special, like a one-night-only dining concept or a chef collaboration that the whole town will be buzzing about over tomorrow’s breakfast.
Don’t wait for…a happy hour table. Don’t let trendy hot-spots trick you into queueing for a table when they’re not offering anything better than the less-busy bar down the block. Happy hour specials tend to feature common offerings that appeal to the masses rather than house specialties, anyway.
Trust us: There’s no need to sweat a long line 24/7.
Wait for…playoff tickets. Supporting your favorite teams is an investment that lasts longer that two halves, four quarters, or nine innings. When you show up en masse for a sport you love, it keeps the teams you enjoy cheering for hanging around from season to season—and that’s a win in our book.
Don’t wait for…gym equipment. A well-managed gym shouldn’t include a line of toe-tappers waiting to snag their 40 minutes on a treadmill. If your favorite workout spot refuses to evolve in order to keep up with demand, consider taking your membership dollars elsewhere.
Yukking it up
Nothing kills a good time quite like a queue.
Wait for…a big-time live show like SNL. Did you know people regularly camp out on New York City sidewalks for 12-plus hours at a time to see a taping of Saturday Night Live? For die-hard fans, it’s a worthwhile experience that comes with stories, new friends, and sometimes even munchies delivered by the host of the week.
Don’t wait for…trivia night seats. Waiting is stressful—that’s a fact. But your limited time out with your friends shouldn’t be a nail-biter! With British pub-style trivia exploding in popularity across the U.S., there’s no reason to queue for a table. Find another venue and discover a new favorite!
Finding a deal
Shop ‘til you drop? Fabulous. Wait ‘til late? Not so much.
Wait for…a sample sale. Whether you’re a bride-to-be or a bargain-hunting fashionista, you know that there are sales and then there are sales. Black Friday might make you feel more “eh” than “yay,” but if a favorite store or brand is having their once-a-year blow-out, go ahead and queue your heart out.
Don’t wait for…a Saturday afternoon shopping trip. A casual trip to the mall shouldn’t make you want to pull your hair out in frustration or grumble about how slow other shoppers are being in the dressing rooms. When it comes to brick-and-mortar stores that need your business to keep the lights on, stellar service should be offered alongside the merchandise.
Of course, businesses can improve the wait experience by using Waitlist Me. So if you find yourself stuck waiting somewhere, you can always mention that to them!