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Should you order coffee in the store, or mobile app?

Many customers prefer mobile ordering instead of taking the time to order coffee in the store. Barista Magazine notes that “as more and more people rely on their phones, considering an ordering or payment app is an interesting way to adapt to your consumers’ needs and improve workflow and efficiency.” The most common reason why people habitually use a mobile ordering app for their coffee is speed (“skipping the line”). Spoiler Alert: If you typically order black drip coffee, you should always order coffee the store instead.

First we’ll dive into some common reasons why people use mobile ordering apps. Then we’ll discuss why it’s better to come into the store and place your order in front of the counter.

Why customers order coffee using the mobile app

Get their coffee faster

If you place your order before you leave your house, the staff will get started on this order right away. All you will need to do is walk in, grab your order and then leave.

Skip the line

To elaborate on above, if you wait to order coffee in the store you will need to endure the god-awful line. If the person in front of you doesn’t know what they want, you are stuck waiting for your turn. Instead of waiting to put your order in the queue, online ordering gives you the chance to get your place in line as soon as possible.

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Eliminate any interaction with staff

This reason may be sad for some, but it is true. Not everyone likes socializing with the staff and putting forth significant energy into interactions with staff. If you are an introvert, you can likely relate to this sentiment. Since you draw your energy internally and being alone, social interactions require a little extra boost. This is a harsh reality that is sometimes difficult for baristas to deal with because they typically have extroverted personalities. Especially if you have not had any coffee yet for the day, it can be understandable that you want that first cup before you put energy into your interactions.

Placing a large order for multiple people

Instead of bringing a list with many orders to the counter, placing a mobile order can save time and accuracy. You have the chance to visually double check that all the orders are accurate before placing the order.

Payment over the phone

Mobile ordering apps allow for the customer to pay in advance. Eliminating the need to swipe or process a transaction in the store.

Why you should order coffee in the store instead of with the mobile app

Order coffee in the store for optimal freshness

If your standard order is a black drip coffee, a standard iced coffee or cold brew, or something else that is straightforward, then wait until you get to the counter. For hot coffee, your drink will be as fresh as possible. For iced coffee, it will not be diluted from the ice.

Order coffee in the store to get your coffee faster

Yes, believe it or not. You usually are not saving time by ordering online or on the mobile app. Despite ordering online there often is a large group of customers waiting by the order pickup line. When you order at the counter, you have a chance to verbally confirm your order with the cashier.

Further, if you usually order a drink that is low involvement like an iced coffee or drip black coffee you should order coffee in the store instead of with the mobile app. The baristas will often expedite you order and get this to you lickety-split.

Order coffee in the store to enhance relationships with baristas

As mentioned earlier, baristas tend to be extroverted people. One of the reasons they value their jobs is because of the connections that are developed with their regulars. It can go a long way by simply looking the cashier in the eyes, placing your order, and saying thank you.

If you order coffee in the store, the coffee team will have certainly your back. In the event that there is a backorder, or something you order is not available, they will go above and beyond to accommodate you however possible. This is one of the many reasons why being a store regular was popular before any branded “loyalty programs”.

Order coffee in the store to increase accuracy of orders

When the baristas are inundated with mobile orders, the likelihood of mistakes happening increases. This is not fault to the team, it is just a reality of mobile ordering. It could even be you, the customer, who made the mistake. Perhaps you accidentally added too many pumps of vanilla, or forgot to ask for half-decaf in your order.

Baristas are not perfect and let’s face it, neither are you. If you order coffee in the store, the cashier and baristas will hear what you ordered. This significantly reduces the chance of error.

Conclusion: Order coffee in the store instead of on the mobile app

We hope this post made a compelling case for why you should order coffee in the store. There is absolutely a time and place for using your mobile app, but let’s not forget that we are social creatures and the benefits that come interacting with the staff when you order coffee in the store. The bottom line is that if your order is simple like black drip coffee, you should always wait to order until you get to the store.