Thursday, June 18, 2015

Trying mobile ordering on the semi-beta Starbucks app

Usually, a mobile application is either a beta version, or it is not.

For certain users of the Starbucks mobile app, this is not true. The app itself is not beta, but a feature within the app - mobile ordering - is beta.

Yesterday, I received a notification that mobile ordering had been turned on in my Starbucks app. This is a slow rollout:

The latest expansion means that an additional 3,400 stores in 21 states, from Texas to Wyoming and Arizona to South Carolina, now have it. So do stores in Southern and Central California.

In addition, this is only available on iOS at the present time; Android users will have to wait a bit. So, as a southern California iOS user, I guess I was lucky.

Since I had already turned location services on for the Starbucks app, mobile ordering was all ready to go for me. So this morning, when I was a mile away from a Starbucks, I entered my mobile order for a reduced fat turkey bacon breakfast sandwich. (Health food, you know.)

A few minutes later, I arrived at my Starbucks - and when I asked for my order, the baristas realized that an order had printed out on their printer, and they didn't even know it. The baristas apologized profusely, explaining that this was a new process to them, and that they had to learn that they needed to monitor that little printer to see when remote orders came in.

I told them that they didn't need to apologize. This is a new process for all of us.

And after all, the mobile ordering function is only in beta.
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