Operations

Starbucks to expand delivery to 2,000 locations

The company plans to offer delivery via Uber Eats in a quarter of its company locations by spring.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Starbucks plans to expand delivery to more than 2,000 locations by spring through a partnership with Uber Eats, the company announced Thursday.

The Seattle-based coffee giant, which has struggled with traffic all year, will concentrate its delivery program in areas with stores that don’t have drive-thru windows, executives announced at the Starbucks Investor Day conference this week. The company said it plans to have delivery in 25% of its 8,000 company-owned locations.

Starbucks declined to provide more specifics on the new delivery markets to Restaurant Business.

Starbucks began its delivery test at more than 100 stores in Miami in September.

The company is capitalizing on delivery at a time when consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with Starbucks’ mobile order and pay app. Currently, some 14% of all transactions are made through the app, executives said during a call with analysts in November.

The U.S. delivery expansion is part of a global delivery push. In China, the chain just launched a virtual Starbucks store that features a unified mobile app that offers delivery, social gifting and retail. The new platform eliminates the need for multiple apps. Delivery in China, which began three months ago, has expanded to 2,000 stores in 30 cities.

Nevertheless, total traffic remains down, dipping 1% for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Starbucks stock was down nearly 4% in morning trading on Friday.

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