Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Starbucks Is Ramping Up Drive-Thru and Digital

By Jennifer Saibil – Jun 10, 2020 at 12:52PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The coffee chain is expanding options and formats to meet new customer needs.

Starbucks (SBUX -2.67%) is powering ahead with digital expansion as it pivots to meet new customer behaviors. The coffee king announced a new direction for its operations today. It also released guidance for the upcoming quarters.

Fast-tracking digital expansion

The company announced that over the next 18 months it will strengthen digital options in several key areas that it terms "convenience-led formats." Even before the pandemic, to-go options accounted for 80% of orders, and current consumer retail trends are reenforcing these habits.

Starbucks has 19.4 million rewards members, and furthering the digital transformation is meant to fully engage these members.

Starbucks mobile order and pickup location.

Image source: Starbucks.

Pickup stores

Starbucks piloted an order-ahead, pickup-only store at Penn Plaza in New York City and will roll out several more of these stores in dense, urban areas such as Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco. These are geared toward customers on the go, and the Penn Plaza store, as well as a second store at Grand Central Terminal, has received positive feedback.

Curbside pickup

Customers can order and pay ahead at many stores and get their orders from designated parking spots. As another quick option where customers can engage with digital, it also serves to enhance safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Starbucks will increase the number of stores that offer this service and also pilot a curbside-only store.


Starbucks is increasing the amount of drive-thru locations outside of urban areas and experimenting with the concept, such as offering a two-lane drive-thru and mixing drive-thru and curbside-pickup-only stores.

All of these options are meant to offer users the best customer experience as they lean into digital, allowing Starbucks to enhance its customer-centric approach even with limited dine-in capabilities.

Jennifer Saibil has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Starbucks. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Starbucks Corporation Stock Quote
Starbucks Corporation
$84.26 (-2.67%) $-2.31

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 10/01/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.