Tap the app and roll down your window
Getting your morning supply of freshly made pumpkin spice latte is about to become a little bit easier. Starbucks curbside pickup, a new pilot program that one location in Snoqualmie, WA, began last week and has made the ordering process more seamless than ever before. The program asks for customers to place their orders via the Starbucks app before arriving at the location. Once they pay for their drinks, customers can request curbside pickup from one of the shop's baristas without even needing to get out of their car. Were it not for the physical coffee handoff, the entire process wouldn't even require human contact. Welcome to the future, friends.
So far, the Starbucks curbside pickup option has been a hit with would-be customers across the country. The Snoqualmie shop doesn't have a drive-thru, meaning that customers had no other option but to go into the shop to get their fix. But adding a curbside pickup option has allowed customers to get in and out faster than if they were required to wait in store—even if they used Starbucks' order and pay options that would let them jump the line in order to get their hands on a pink drink. No word on whether or not dogs will be allowed to order Starbucks curbside pickup for Puppuccinos, however.
The Starbucks curbside pickup operation is a convenient option for on-the-go coffee drinkers, but it takes a fair bit of coordination for the shop to pull it all off. Customers can't just park anywhere and expect a barista to come out on rollerblades like they're running some kind of 21st-century carhop. The shop had to set up a designated parking area for curbside pickups so that the operation runs smoothly. But even then, it hasn't been that much of a hit with actual patrons. Eater reports that one Starbucks employee at the Snoqualmie location has only seen about five customers use the service.
Starbucks is in a bit of a bind when it comes to lines and staffing. Baristas report that Starbucks understaffs its shifts to cut costs, and that customers are forced to wait on longer lines as a result. Unhappy Starbucks employees are making waves about the current state of the company's employment practices. Even if curbside pickup ends up being a hit, as it has been for other nationwide businesses like Chili's, it might not make your wait for coffee any shorter. And it might not make your regular barista a happy camper, either.