Analyst: Starbucks to let customers order from car dashboard

Last week, we wrote about a Seattle-based startup allowing people to order coffee from their mobile phones.

Now, another local coffee company could be entering the seamless ordering space, but on a much bigger level.

In its earnings call last week, Starbucks announced that 60 percent of the 1,500 shops it plans to open in the next five years will be drive-thrus.

Business Insider reports that Brian Sozzi, a Wall Street guru and chief equities analyst for NBG Productions, sent a note to clients that said Starbucks has plans to implement next-generation technology and allow customers to order from the car and pick up coffee at drive thrus.

He wrote that the in-car navigation panels will “very likely” offer capabilities to order food from local restaurants that have drive-thrus.

Sozzi also pointed at the company’s relationship with mobile payments company Square, one of Starbucks’ biggest partners. The two companies formally rolled out their partnership to allow coffee lovers a new way to pay for their java three months ago and announced last month that customers can now buy Square mobile card readers at Starbucks’ 7,000 coffee shops.

Starbucks has already partnered with Square to process transactions in its stores and invested $25 million in the company last August, promising to change the way people pay for their coffee and dramatically increase the footprint of Square.

In its earnings call last week, Starbucks reported a 13 percent increase in profit for the quarter and the strongest holiday season in the company’s 42-year history.

Previously on GeekWire: This coffee machine tries to figure out your age, gender

  • Guest

    Very cool! I hope that this analyst writes an API so that I can build this capability into my phone. I’m working on a “soft assistant” for my phone, named Gary, and it would be awesome if Gary were to be able to coffee me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.bak.908 James Bak

    Not sure what the news is here. In essence, you can do this today using the Starbucks app on one’s mobile phone while in the car. Not necessarily the safest thing to do but possible. What’s missing here is any sort of news about Starbuck’s integrating the app and payment system into the car’s existing infotainment so one can use steering wheel controls or voice commands to order, now that would be something to report!

  • http://profiles.google.com/jeff.shuey Jeff Shuey

    I predict that this will connect with NFC to “predict” your order based on purchase history. Then your screen (or screens … depending upon how you opt-in) will light up with a “predictive order” and all you need to do to accept it is say yes or click something. This is a big of a “Big Brother” play, but I think people will buy into it (pun intended).