Coffee in A Hurry. A ‘Frictionless’ Coffee in Manhattan.

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Starbucks has opened what is now termed a ‘frictionless’ store between Madison and Park Avenues on Manhattan’s 59th Street and it does pretty much what might be expected of it.

For those who have pre-ordered that oat milk mocha, it is now possible to swipe an app-generated Starbucks QR code, pick up the drink that is sitting there waiting and exit without looking back (payment having been made via the shopper’s electronic wallet).

It certainly sounds slick and if you can get your order sorted before an approach to this one is made, then Amazon’s ‘Just Walk Out’ technology, which has been installed to make all of this work, is probably perfect. But even those operating on a ‘New York minute’ will probably occasionally just want to enter and then order and anyway the point about purveyors of coffee is that fairly frequently it is not the payment that is the pinch point.

Instead, the process of making the drink, involving lots of steam and pieces of metal being knocked together, is the think that takes the time. This Starbucks looks like a good idea, but it will be interesting to see whether enough people pre-order to make it pay its way.

Pictures: Starbucks