East Coast vs. West Coast
On Jan 19, 2016 the way we order coffee and use apps was changed forever because the Starbucks Mobile Order & Pay finally launched in Vancouver. Even though Vancouver is becoming more and more of a tech hub, we still lag behind Toronto, and it’s enraging to us West Coasters. However, I shall put my technology beef aside in order to applaud the glory of the Mobile Order & Pay app because it deserves a standing ovation and a maybe NASCAR champagne celebration. I cannot say enough good things about this app and it thrills me that the hype is legitimate.
Location, location, location
I must mention that the first step to get the mobile ordering part of the app is to enable location services. Duh, right? Yes, yes it is, but not to me when I first attempted to use it. My app didn’t look like anyone else’s when I compared it with both Android and iPhone users, so I had convinced myself my phone was somehow broken. I shoved my phone in Clarence’s face because he has an iPhone and successfully used the Mobile Order app. To his credit, he did attempt to fix it, and when he couldn’t he just laughed and gave it back to me. No mobile ordering for me apparently. I persevered and instead chose to annoy more people by asking why my mobile app wasn’t working properly. Cue the install, uninstall circle of horror until I had the brainstorm (way too late) to check my location services. Sure enough, it was turned off and as soon as I turned it on, the app transformed into the Mobile Order & Pay that I knew it could. Shout out to Morgan, the greatest Starbucks District Manager in Vancouver, who upon hearing how I finally got the mobile ordering to work, politely stifled his laughter and asked incredulously “Aren’t you…kind of in IT?” YES MORGAN, I KIND OF AM. The shame..the shame is too real.
Justify My Love
Now, let’s begin. Since Starbucks is in my Holy Trinity (the others being Costco and Apple), I expected a certain level of bias on my part, but all my love is completely valid and justified (huzzah!). Apparently, the Mobile Order & Pay is only available at certain stores in Vancouver so don’t yell at me if it’s not working in your neighbourhood. When you use the app, it’ll automatically detect the appropriate stores so you will know right away if you’re able to use the app.
Once you open the app, you can click on the ‘Order’ section and the entire Starbucks line springs to life before your eyes. Drinks! Fancy baked goods! Overall deliciousness! You can browse the photo menu to get inspiration if you aren’t sure what you want. If you do know what you want, hit ‘Browse Menu’ and the closest store pops up (see why those location services are so handy?) and a list of drinks and food pops up underneath. The scroll shows you if an item is out of stock so you don’t end up going over and not finding the sugar cookie you wanted.
When you click on the store, you can see the fastest route, how long the mobile order wait is, and a map in case you’ve ventured out of your neighbourhood. I actually had a bit of trouble ordering a vanilla latte because I thought it would appear under the espresso drink category or when I searched the app, but it’s actually an addition to a regular latte. When I clicked on a latte, a bunch more options to customize my drink appeared. The options allow you to add extra shots, every kind of syrup known to humanity, milk type, toppings and much more. If you scroll down more you can read more in depth nutritional and allergy information.
So Much JAVA
Once I ordered my vanilla latte using the mobile order and pay, I put my shoes on and headed out the door to my Starbucks. I felt like a jerk for skipping the line and heading right to the bar to pick up my drink, but it wasn’t there. I waited a minute and then asked if they received my mobile order. They did, but apparently I was in the wrong spot as I waited for it. Someone reached behind the bar and handed me my drink and I was off. No cash, no line up and minimal human contact- it was joyous! I still maintain that I was in the right place to get my drink but the barista mockery told me I was not. However, I was the envy of all the plebes standing in line (in the 20th century) to order while I sailed out.
The mobile app has a very small learning curve and once you get used to the little tricks, it’s so simple and user friendly. I don’t enjoy the calorie count listed for every item because I don’t need to be reminded, but I love that the app remembers your last order, so overall it’s a draw. I liked the map because my sense of direction is terrifying so I appreciate anything that can point me in the right direction. The app is so great to use that I can’t imagine other coffee shops and restaurants not implementing something similar. The Mobile Order & Pay is a slam dunk and has changed the way we interact with apps on a daily basis. I look forward to seeing how this technology will change the service industry and save relationships because you won’t get someone’s drink order wrong or be mocked when you order someone’s vanilla bullshit.
**It must be noted (and celebrated) that with the Mobile Order & Pay that my name is ALWAYS correct