First-come, first-served

First-Come, First-Served

First-come, first-served

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First-come, first-served (FCFS) – sometimes first-in, first-served and first-come, first choice – is a service policy whereby the requests of customers or clients are attended to in the order that they arrived, without other biases or preferences. The policy can be employed when processing sales orders, in determining restaurant seating, on a taxi stand, etc. In Western society, it is the standard policy for the processing of most queues in which people wait for a service or two.

Festival seating (also known as general seating and stadium seating) is seating done on a FCFS basis. (See Riverfront Coliseum for details on a December 1979 disaster involving "festival seating" at a concert by The Who in Cincinnati, Ohio.)

The practice is also common among some airlines which do not permit seat reservations either in advance or at check-in. These airlines allow passengers to board in small groups based upon their order of check-in and sit in whatever seat on the aircraft they wish to. On the basis of first come, first served, the earlier they check in, the earlier they board the aircraft to get the seat they want. Passengers are sequentially (on a first come, first served basis) assigned into one of several "boarding groups". The passengers are then boarded onto the plane in group order.

Grammar

The phrase is often but erroneously stated as "first come, first serve" (instead of "served"). This is an error because "come" is...
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