Portland's Coffee Addicts Will Be First to Test Starbucks' Order-Ahead App

Rolling out at 150 stores

Coffee ordering space is heating up.

Starbucks is preparing to field-test a mobile app that lets customers preorder their lattes from a smartphone before even walking into the store, avoiding long lines at the counter.

In a move to increase sales, the Seattle company will test the app later this year with iPhone users, who will be able to preorder at 150 stores in Portland, Ore., reports Bloomberg. The company plans to extend the test to Android phones during a national rollout next year.

Starbucks' chief digital officer Adam Brotman told Bloomberg that customers will typically have to wait about five minutes to pick up their coffee or food after ordering from the app. The company is already experimenting with some coffee recipes that typically have a short shelf life—like espressos—to make them last a bit longer for app clients.

"We feel we're going to be constantly learning and improving how mobile ordering works," Brotman told Bloomberg.

Starbucks introduced a mobile app payment system in 2009, and the company reports that about 15 percent of its U.S. revenue comes from mobile, representing 6 million weekly transactions.

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