Starbucks & Dunkin Take It Up a Notch With Mobile Ordering

SEATTLE and CANTON, Mass. — Building upon the continued success of their company mobile apps, both Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts are debuting mobile ordering through their apps.

Starbucks last week launched its Mobile Order & Pay platform in the Pacific Northwest at participating locations in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Alaska. The coffeehouse chain’s plans call for a full national rollout in 2015.

Mobile Order & Pay allows customers to place orders and pay through the Starbucks app before arriving at the store, so their food and drinks are ready when they arrive.

Starbucks also announced its intent to start delivering to customers in select parts of Seattle and New York City later this year.

The delivery model in Seattle includes a collaboration with Postmates, a leading on-demand delivery service. Customers can place their order through the Starbucks app and receive on-demand delivery to homes and offices. Postmates operates in 22 markets with more than 1.5 million deliveries to date. This pilot will begin in the second half of 2015.

In New York, a “Green Apron” barista delivery option will enable customers in specified office buildings to order food and beverages for delivery by Starbucks baristas. This will also begin in the second half of 2015.

Starbucks Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman said there will be no minimum purchase required for delivery, but deliveries will require "a small flat fee," according to the Associated Press. Delivery workers will also accept tips, and the average time for deliveries will be 30 minutes starting from when the order is placed.

Meanwhile, Dunkin’ Donuts is currently testing mobile ordering and will debut it sometime this year in select markets, Scott Hudler, vice president of global consumer engagement for Canton-based Dunkin’ Brands, said in a Boston Business Journal report.

"We are currently testing mobile ordering and are excited about the opportunity that this feature would present from both a payment and speed standpoint," Hudler said in a statement. "As we delve more into the mobile space, we are continuously enhancing our mobile app to provide our guests with new levels of speed and convenience so that people can run on Dunkin' more quickly than ever before. ... We feel mobile ordering will be another great feature to add to our mobile app in the future to improve convenience and speed of service at our restaurants."

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