Earlier today, thanks to Square’s new Order app, I got the fastest cup of coffee in my life.
I walked into Ports Coffee & Teas here in midtown Manhattan, a barista at the counter greeted me by name, and off I went with my coffee. It was bizarrely personal and absolutely effortless. I didn’t have to stand in line, pull out my wallet, or even show my phone to the cashier.
Of course, there was some prep work. Before I got there, I opened up the new Square Order app, placed an order for a small cappuccino and a scone from Ports Coffee & Teas Co. down the street, and as soon as I started walking toward the coffee shop, the app alerted the baristas. The barista started making my cappuccino as soon as I was one minute away from the shop. As I walked in, Square Order told me my order was ready. The barista at the counter greeted me by name and asked me which flavor scone I wanted, handed me my coffee, and I left. I didn’t even have to pull out my credit card or any form of ID.
Here’s how it works: First, you set up a Square account and add a debit card for payments. Square Order will ask you to take a selfie so the barista can recognize you when you walk in the door. Then, the app will determine your location and recommend the coffee shop that’s closest to you. If you don’t like that particular establishment, Square Order will show you all the other coffee shops near you. The closest ones will be listed first along with the amount of time it will take you to walk there and the hours of operation. Once you choose a cafe, you can browse through their tea and coffee menu until you find your beverage of choice. Some places even offer pastries and food for preorder.
Some restaurants and cafes already offer a similar service with their own dedicated apps, but Square’s Order app adds a personal touch and is tailored to suit your needs. Hopefully Square will extend this great new feature to other restaurants and cafes for all kinds of foods.