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Oct 06, 2015

Product Review

Starbucks Mobile Order-and-Pay Now App

Arlene Hauben

Always an innovator in customer loyalty and rewards programs, Starbucks is leading the way in mobile payments. The coffee and light food connoisseur has spun out its Mobile Order-and-Pay Now app nationwide. You can order your Latte or Dark Roast plus a breakfast sandwich or wrap, and it will be waiting for you at the pick-up counter as soon as you enter a nearby Starbucks café. At the top of the mobile screen, the display shows exactly where you go to pick it up.

Now that mobile payments systems are becoming increasingly popular among consumers, Starbucks actually began testing this order and pay service in December of last year in Portland, Oregon. By this summer this retail innovator had expanded the app to 3400 of its more than 7400 company-owned stores. It is working so well that it is now available in South Florida where the younger demographic is growing. The service is available on both iOS and Android smartphones.

I found the order-and-pay service in the official Starbucks app on my iPhone6. When I opened the app, I found “Order” in the top right corner, and from there, I was able to choose a Starbucks near me and browse the wide variety of food and drinks on the menu. Wait times are generally three to five minutes, but if there is a long line in-store, the wait may increase to 10 minutes.

In a statement, Starbucks’ Chief Technology Officer Adam Brotman said that “bringing Mobile Order-and-Pay to our customer is about meeting their needs of convenience and customization at any time of the day.”

On a Sunday morning, I decided to order a Starbucks latte from my phone, pay on my phone and pick it up at the closest store.  I checked out a full menu of drinks, food, and “at home” coffee. It’s an enhanced assortment of products, including hot breakfast, sandwiches, salads and wraps, bistro boxes, and yogurt and fruit. The emphasis is on quality and healthy combinations of food, including protein and vegetable or fruit. Not only can you have a BBQ beef brisket sandwich or grilled cheese, you can get a salad of chicken and black beans or an edamame hummus wrap. It’s easy to find small meals of 400 calories or less.

The app lets you browse the selections, place your order, pay through one of your cards that are located in the Wallet on your phone. You can add a card or reload a card. That part was a little tricky for me because I had to re-enter the card information for my new chip card. Then I decided to pay with Apple Pay, since that is registered on my phone. It is tied to one of my debit accounts.

I ended up choosing some croissants, an iced Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte, and a Thai-Style Peanut Chicken Wrap. The Starbucks nearest my home was 3-8 minutes away by car, the app displayed, so I grabbed the dog and we jumped in the car.

When I arrived at Starbucks, my food and coffee were already waiting for me in a shopping bag on the counter where customers pick up their orders. The busy staff person responded in a cheery tone when I asked where the Mobile Orders were: “Are you Arlene? Here’s your food and your coffee.”

It was so easy I could not believe it. The dog only had to wait about two minutes in the car with the windows open, as this morning was cool for Florida.

I checked the items in the bag and sipped my latte on the way home. Everything was exactly as I had ordered. Later on when I checked my Starbucks app, it displayed my Previous Order to help me for future purchases.


Starbucks Mobile Order-and-Pay Now App


·      Mobile app that lets you order Starbucks coffee and food, pay, and pick up at the nearest store

·      Convenient, quick and easy

Target Audience:

·      Starbucks coffee devotees

·      Business folks on the way to and from work


·      Order coffee and food on your phone and pre-pay seamlessly

·      No waiting in-store; fast pick-up

·      Earn Starbucks rewards


·      You may have to add a payment method or change your card information.

·      There are so many tempting food and drink items, it’s hard to make up your mind. 

Editor’s rating:

4.0 stars


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