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Who needs interns? Starbucks tests coffee delivery in Seattle and NYC

Image used with permission by copyright holder
Starbucks certainly isn’t lacking in popularity. It’s a common morning occurrence to find one of the Seattle-grown coffee conglomerate’s shops brimming with patrons on their busy commute. It sure makes getting your choice brew a rather trying ordeal. What if you never had to wait in line for coffee again, or even go to the shop to pick it up? Soon, you may be able to get your caffeine fix delivered to your door.

The company announced it would be conducting two pilot tests in the second half of this year, one in Seattle and one in New York, to deliver its foods and beverages to directly to waiting customers.

The news isn’t new, per se — Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz announced the company’s plan to add a delivery function to the Starbucks app during the company’s last earning report — but the pilot tests are the first visible sign of progress on that ambition.

For the Seattle test, Starbucks is partnering with delivery app Postmates, a network of contracted couriers. There will be a fee associated with delivery, but Starbucks hasn’t revealed pricing.

The New York test, dubbed Green Apron, will be limited to the Empire State Building in Manhattan. It’s a little simpler tech: Baristas will be responsible for carrying orders from the Starbucks location in the building to the customer’s floor. Like in Seattle, there will be a fee.

Additionally, Starbucks is testing an order-ahead app in Pacific Northwest locations right now, and will roll it out to all stores by the end of the year, but apparently, Starbucks thought it could do one better.

The tests are part of a bid to increase payments through the Starbucks app. Paying with the iOS or Android app requires enrolling in the company’s loyalty program, and Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman told Re/code that members spend three times as much as non-loyalty members do. Right now, about 18 percent of Starbucks transactions made in stores are made through the app.

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Kyle Wiggers
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kyle Wiggers is a writer, Web designer, and podcaster with an acute interest in all things tech. When not reviewing gadgets…
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