As American foodies become more dependent on drive-thru service, fast-food operators are starting to grasp that efficiency is number one on a customer’s pecking order.
A major part of that efficiency is how quickly the restaurant gets the customer in and out of its drive-thru lanes – a metric that research shows Starbucks, for one, could perform better in its customers’ minds. But with the footprint of its locations packed to every available square inch, the coffee chain has decided to go all out to make things easier for customers.
The first foray Starbucks made came last year when it cut a deal with Target to deliver coffee curbside to Target shoppers. With that initiative in the books, the Big Barista has a new pact with DoorDash which will make delivery service available in all 50 states by the end of March. The service got its first rollout this week in Northern California, Texas, Georgia, Florida and other select markets.
The goal, the company says, is “enable increased, convenient access” for its customers. DoorDash, with its recent commitment to ramping up its delivery speed, seems like a good fit.
“As customer behaviors evolve, we continue to innovate the Starbucks experience to connect with them through meaningful and valuable digital experiences. Our partnership with DoorDash allows us to provide our customers with another convenient way to enjoy Starbucks wherever they are," said Brooke O’Berry, Starbucks senior vice president of digital experiences.
Get ready to fire up the Starbucks app
In today’s digital world, there’s barely a food-related business short of some mom-and-pop places that take orders over the phone. The same holds true with the Starbucks/DoorDash setup. But, there are advantages to doing that. For example, customers can track their orders through DoorDash from preparation to drop-off.
And that half-decaf-nonfat-one scoop of matcha-195 degrees-no foam that’s your go-to? You should be OK. Starbucks said it will offer approximately 95% of its core menu items on DoorDash, and just as they would at Starbucks, customers can customize their orders within the DoorDash app, including the ability to choose the amount of syrup, type of milk, and espresso roasts.
Starbucks also realizes that for coffee drinkers the temperature of their cup of Joe is of the utmost importance and has developed packaging solutions to help ensure the quality of hot and cold menu items including stickers for beverages to avoid spilling, tamper-evident packaging, and delivery-specific cup holders.
The service isn’t free but it does have a “free” component. In the announcement, the company said that consumers who are members of DashPass, DoorDash’s membership program, will pay zero in “delivery fees,” but indicated that there will be “service fees” which it couched as “the lowest service fees available on each order of $12 or more. Standard delivery and service fees apply to all other orders.”