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Starbucks to Offer Order-Ahead Feature on Its Mobile App

Mobile payment via Android.
Mobile payment via Android.
Photo: Starbucks

After a successful soft test of its mobile payment app, Starbucks plans to soon offer an order-ahead feature within the program. According to Recode, about 14 percent of Starbucks' sales in the U.S. are currently made through its phone application. Noting the trend towards mobile in everything from drivers (Uber, Lyft) to food delivery (Seamless, Caviar), Starbucks plans to get ahead of the curve with a mobile payment system that will allow users to place and pay for orders in advance. Patrons would then be able to walk into a location to pick up their drink and walk right out again.

"We will do this and we will get it right," said the company's Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman. As Recode notes, if this app works it may make already loyal customers even more loyal by allowing them to avoid the line. Because freshly prepared espresso drinks have a very short shelf life, Starbucks is even experimenting with recipes in its Seattle test kitchen that can sit on the counter for a few minutes. "We're trying to get things down to a science," says Brotman. Looking ahead, the app could evolve into a digital wallet, storing customer information for payment, loyalty points, and more.

It's not the first time the coffee giant has embraced technology. Just last month, Starbucks announced it would introduce charging pads at some locations. The new Starbucks at Disney includes touch-screens for ordering, menu browsing, and new product discovery.

· Starbucks Has Big Plans in Mobile Payments [Recode]
· All Starbucks Coverage on Eater [-E-]