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5 Things Coffee Pros Should Know About Starbucks Mobile Ordering

When Starbucks rolled out their mobile order and pay app this year, many coffee professionals started thinking about what they could do to keep pace. As a result, many of you looked into what accepting mobile orders might look like through your POS provider or maybe you even launched your own app.


As Starbucks began touting their success as early as last January, noting that as many as 20% of all transactions were through their mobile app, many coffee pros were disappointed to find out that their shops either couldn’t afford their own solution, or just weren’t getting the same results as Starbucks. Before we dig into why that is and what Joe can do about it, let’s quickly recap on some benefits that Starbucks enjoys with their mobile order & payment app, and why they are investing so heavily in it.


Long lines lose customers

How many times have you looked up in the midst of frantically fulfilling orders to see loyal customers peek in the door, take one glance at your line and decide they might have better luck ordering at another shop? The worst thing that can happen is letting a line come between you and your customers, especially the most loyal ones. Giving customers the choice to skip the line alleviates that issue and lets your customers chat up their favorite barista when they snag their drink.


Every mobile order saves 3.5 minutes

The time it takes for someone to order the same drink they get every day, scan their card (or comment on how confusing the new chip readers are), wait for their receipt to print, then sign it and tell you they don’t want a customer copy makes up as much time as it takes approximately 3.5 minutes. Cutting that amount of time out of your queue with every mobile order makes a big impact not just on how long your customers are waiting to get their daily drink, but what their overall experience is like once they walk through the door.


Time is money

Let’s do some basic math. It’s tough to gauge exactly how much business is lost from the inefficiency that long lines produce, but in theory if 10% of transactions are through mobile (Starbucks publicized they fulfill 20% during peak times) for a shop that serves 480 cups of coffee a day, that nets out to approximately 2.5 hours erased from your queue. That’s 2.5 hours of actually serving customers and not having them wait in your queue that you are missing out of. At a rate of about 60 cups an hour to meet the 480 cup a day mark and an average drink price of $4, that’s a potential additional earnings of $600 every day (60 cups per hour X 2.5 Hours X $4 per cup). That’s significant potential.


Paying ahead actually improves interaction with customers

Standing in line and staring at the back of someone else’s head doesn’t constitute “enjoying the coffee shop experience”.  Neither does staring blankly at the barista while he or she waits for the receipt to print so you can sign and tip. Delighting your customers means giving them the option to interact with your staff on their terms and on their time – mobile order & pay lets them do that.


Why POS Mobile Order Solutions Don’t Work

A white-labeled mobile app doesn’t work because people live and work in different places. Maybe your shop is a daily habit for a customer’s morning ritual, but what about when they commute into work and they want their favorite drink?

Research has shown that consumers are loyal to the independent coffee category (a.k.a. just not Starbucks, please). Downloading a new mobile app for every shop that a person patronizes is a bad experience. Starbucks makes it work because they have over 12,000 shops across the U.S. There is literally one on every corner and sometimes right across the street from one another. So how can independent shops hope to provide the same convenience?


Where Joe Steps In

There are over 55,000 local, independent specialty coffee shops in the U.S. If you think 12,000 Starbucks locations are convenient imagine if consumers had access to more than 4 times that many independent shops. Beyond the convenience they would enjoy, the fact that they’d never have to suffer through slurping down burnt coffee just to skip the line again would be a revelation.



Joe is a free forever service for independent coffee shops. We want to bring together specialty coffee lovers with the folks that make the best coffee – you guys. As we grow, we are using feedback direct from our customers to build out additional services to make your life easier. Here are a few features already on the roadmap:


  • Advertising solutions
  • Loyalty solutions
  • Adding food/menu options

So really, why not give us a shot. It’s not commitment and you can turn your availability to receive orders on and off with a click of a button.


Benefits of requesting a demo today:


  • Register and receive orders in less than 30 minute
  • Joe provides in-store marketing materials to get the word out about the app
  • Early registrants are eligible for $150 of free targeted advertising