Starbucks Testing Order-Ahead App

NEW YORK — Starbucks is testing an order-ahead mobile app at 150 stores in the Portland, Ore., area, in preparation for a national rollout, reported Bloomberg Businessweek.

"We do believe that this will increase our sales and will increase the throughput in our stores," Starbucks' Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman told the news outlet. "This is the beginning of a national rollout. We feel we're going to be constantly learning and improving how mobile ordering works.

Through the new app, customer names will be printed on a label to help reduce human error by baristas. The order-ahead app is also designed to reduce errors in the order itself and free up employees' time for other tasks, according to the report.

Test use of the app follows these steps:

  • Customers select their items and the pickup location.
  • The app displays approximate wait time. The order is created as soon as it is received, so customers cannot set up a specific pickup time.
  • Payment is made from the customer's registered Starbucks Card, with no cash to be paid at pickup.
  • If a beverage is not hot enough or otherwise satisfactory upon pickup, baristas will remake it.
  • The app's menu screen will display recent orders the next time it is opened.

The order-ahead app is "the fastest and easiest way to order and pay at Starbucks," according to company spokesperson Linda Mills. The app is currently available only for iPhones, but Android users will be able to use the app when Starbucks proceeds with the national rollout.

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