In an effort to make its mobile ordering system run more smoothly, Starbucks is testing out a new technology that sends customers text messages when their orders are ready.
According to Business Insider, the company has started sending text message notifications to Starbucks customers in the Seattle area, in an effort to prevent the crowding and confusion that comes when people arrive at stores before their orders have been made.
This is an important goal for the coffee chain, which recently reported that transactions dropped two percent in the most recent quarter, in part because of issues caused by mobile ordering.
Seattle attorney Melody Overton tested out the new technology for her blog, Starbucks Melody, and reported back on how it works: Once the customer places an order on their smartphone, a time range is given for when it will be ready (usually between 8-13 minutes). At the store, a ticket with a barcode is printed out for the order. When the order is ready, the barista scans the barcode, which will automatically send a text notification to the customer.
Although this adds another step to the barista’s job, Starbucks is hoping it will eliminate overcrowding and long wait times that can damper the mobile ordering experience for its customers.
Starbucks is also considering other options to help the system work better, such as hiring additional employees and even redesigning stores.