NEW YORK (AP) – Starbucks launched a mobile order-and-pay-ahead option in the Portland, Oregon, area this week as it prepares to expand the offering nationally over the next year.
In major cities, the chain says it plans to offer delivery later in 2015 as well.
The pay-ahead option is intended to make it faster and easier for customers to get their orders, which is particularly important for those rushing in the mornings.
It’s among the changes Starbucks executives plan to highlight at the company’s investor day on Thursday. Alisha Damodaran, a Starbucks representative, said the pay-ahead option was made available Wednesday on the Starbucks mobile app in the Portland area, with customers able to select from 150 stores where they could pick up their orders.
Starbucks executives will also talk about plans to expand beer, wine and small plates like chicken skewers in the evenings to up to a quarter of its 12,000 U.S. stores over the next five years.
“Several hundred” of those will be in the year ahead, said Troy Alstead, chief operating officer at Starbucks.
The “evenings” program is in part intended to help double the company’s revenue from food in the U.S. The company has been pushing to convince more customers to get something to eat with their drinks as a way to drive up sales.
Starbucks Corp. recently revamped its sandwiches and introduced new offerings, such as prepared salad boxes, in hopes of becoming more of a place to grab a quick lunch.
Alstead said the company currently has just 2 percent of the fast-food market for lunch.
The company will also announce the Friday opening of its Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle, an upscale store where visitors can try its special batches of coffee.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.