Starbucks announced this week that it's expanding its delivery service, with plans to offer it at nearly one-quarter of its U.S. shops. The delivery service, Starbucks Delivers, powered by Uber Eats, is currently available in San Francisco, but will expand to stores in New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles in coming weeks. Starbucks Delivers debuted in August 2018 in China through a partnership with Alibaba and on-demand food delivery service Ele.me. By the end of 2018, the delivery service had expanded to 2,000 stores across 30 cities in China, while also being introduced to select stores in Tokyo and Miami.
Customers will be able to access Starbucks Delivers through the Uber Eats mobile app. They can track orders within the app, seeing the location of their Uber courier to ensure proper delivery of their order within 30 minutes. Approximately 95 percent of Starbucks’ core menu items are available via Starbucks Delivers, and delivery orders will come with an initial $2.49 booking fee.
The.expansion of the service follows the success of a 200-store test that began last fall in Miami, where 200 stores used Uber Eats as part of the service. The test saw strong demand, including repeat business throughout the day and positive feedback from customers. This expansion coincides with the kickoff of a new pilot, due to begin later this month, in London, the first European city to trial the service.
Total Retail's Take: Starbucks’ partnership with Uber Eats brings together the fastest-growing meal delivery service in the U.S. (Uber Eats) with one of the largest food and beverage retailers (Starbucks). The partnership will also allow Starbucks to reach new customers who are using the Uber Eats platform, as well as offer existing customers a new method for including the coffee retailer in their daily routines. All in all, this service should be a win-win to both parties. After all, sources say the global online food delivery market currently represents a $95 billion opportunity and is projected to grow by more than 11 percent annually through 2023.