Square Just Unveiled Something Coffee Addicts Have Been Dreaming About Forever
Square wants to make getting coffee so easy that customers can enter a coffee shop, grab a piping hot latte ready for pickup, and then turn around and leave without stopping to pay.
The mobile payments company is rolling out a new feature in its food-pickup app Order that aims to eliminate the hassles of getting coffee: standing in line, waiting for your order to be completed and paying. Essentially, the updated version allows customers to order coffee on their phones and show up at the coffee shop anytime in the next 24 hours, expecting their order to be ready and fresh.
The key to this ease in ordering is "arrival prediction." The feature uses first-to-market tech to alert baristas when a customer who has ordered a drink on the app approaches the coffee shop, allowing them to immediately start preparing the order. Customers then simply pick up their order and are automatically charged as the leave the shop.
Users can also save their coffee preferences and customizations, speeding up transactions on the app. Square has paired up with fellow San Francisco startup Blue Bottle Coffee to debut the new features.
Launched in May, Square Order allows people to pre-order items for pickup at eateries that use the Square payments processing system. The service is only active in San Francisco and New York.
Square, which was co-founded by Jim McKelvey and Twitter's Jack Dorsey in 2009, has recently been seeking to expand its presence in the food space: the company bought high-end food delivery startup Caviar for a reported $90 million in August.
The company is also said to have recently raised $150 million in its latest financing round at a valuation of $6 billion, according to The New York Times.
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Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor.