What’s going on with Starbucks?


Starbucks: the well-known, comforting coffee shop that has come to be part of so many of our daily routines. We go for the Starbucks experience: the coffee and the atmosphere. We love the countless beverage options and specialty flavors as well as the comfortable “living room” and friendly baristas.

This past week, Starbucks has been all over the news. Starbucks is one business that has successfully been keeping up with our constantly changing world. The three big announcements from Starbucks are:

1) They now offer mobile ordering and mobile payment through their app.

2) They are testing a delivery service in two locations: Seattle and New York City’s Empire State building.

3) They announced a stock split.

For customers who are looking to avoid the lines at Starbucks locations, mobile ordering and mobile payment are now available via the Starbucks app in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Idaho). Starbucks plans to expand their mobile ordering and payment options nationwide later this year. Also, mobile order and pay is only available for iPhone users at this time, but they are working on making it available to Android and other smart phone users as well. So how does this work? Simply open the Starbucks app, tap the “order” tab in the upper right-hand corner, browse the menu, and pay. The app remembers customers’ previous orders in case they want to order the same item each time. Also, beverage customization is available through the app. The last step is easy: drive to the specified location, skip the line, and pick up the freshly made beverage.

In a couple of months, Starbucks will be testing two very different delivery services in two very different locations: Seattle and New York City’s Empire State Building. According to USA Today, Green Apron delivery will be offered in New York City’s Empire State Building, which means that food and beverages will be delivered by real, apron-wearing baristas who work in the Starbucks inside the Empire State building. Postmates delivery service, the largest on-demand app-based delivery system in the United States, will be offered in Seattle. Similar to Uber, it shows a picture of the delivery person to establish trust. Order-tracking is also available through Postmates.

USA Today states that the negative aspect of Starbucks offering delivery is that there will be a delivery flat rate, which means that a $3 latte could quickly turn into a $10 latte after the delivery charge and tip. Jonathan Salem Baskin who owns a brand and communications consulting firm posed a very important question: “The central concept isn’t coffee, but the place that has coffee in it. So what exactly is Starbucks selling to customers? Would successful delivery change Starbucks from selling the image of the special place — to selling the commodity of coffee?”

Starbucks’ stock has been doing extremely well and hitting all-time highs…it is closing in on $100 per share. Starbucks Newsroom publicizes that “Starbucks has announced its sixth two-for-one stock split since its initial public offering in 1992.” On March 30th, 2015, common stock shareholders will receive one additional share for each share held on the record date. The new shares will be payable starting April 8th, 2015.