Starbucks Testing Way to Order Coffee from Smartphone

by Rob Lewis | Technology

Starbucks wants customers to be able to order coffee in advance from their smartphone.

A pilot program is slated for launch later this year, according to Adam Brotman, the coffee chain’s chief digital officer.

“We plan to test the ability to . . . order ahead with your phone at Starbucks stores in the US,” said a Starbucks spokesperson. A single, undisclosed market will enjoy the initial pilot.

The program will be accessible to those on Starbucks’ loyalty program. The company has had tremendous success with its current app, which enables simple mobile payments, accounting for a significant percentage of all mobile transactions in Canada and the US.

The main concern is perfect execution, according to Brotman, who notes that success means a “next-level” Starbucks while failure “could hurt the brand.” Currently the primary challenge is making sure coffee is served at a hot temperature so it tastes fresh. Another obstacle is scaling the system to thousands of stores if it does work.

No word on a Canadian rollout should the pilot be successful.

Seattle, Washington, United States

It happens millions of times each week – a customer receives a drink from a Starbucks barista – but each interaction is unique. It’s just a moment in time – just one hand reaching over the counter to present a cup to another outstretched hand. But it’s a connection. We make sure everything we do honors that connection – from our commitment to the highest quality coffee in the world, to the way... more

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Rob Lewis

Rob Lewis

Rob is the President of Techvibes Media and Editor-in-Chief of  His diverse background includes stints in International Trade Finance, Web Development, and Enterprise Software and he is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and Simon Fraser University. When not running Canada's leading technology media property, Rob can be... more

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