- Starbucks customers in Philadelphia can get the chain’s coffee delivered in the middle of the night.
- Starbucks-trained baristas employed by Gopuff will prepare the orders at Gopuff’s micro-fulfillment centers.
- Delivery makes up just 2% of Starbucks’ orders, though customers generally spend more per transaction.
Starbucks is offering late-night deliveries of coffee and food in a trial with Gopuff.
Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan told investors at the coffee chain’s earnings call on Wednesday that it was conducting a pilot with Gopuff “targeting a fully incremental opportunity for overnight orders” between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m..
“In this pilot, Starbucks-trained baristas prepare handcrafted Starbucks drinks and food inside Gopuff micro fulfillment centers, delivering to the customer’s door in about 30 minutes,” Narasimhan said.
When asked for more information, Gopuff and Starbucks referred Business Insider to a press release from October which said that the two companies were starting food and beverage deliveries in Philadelphia.
The press release said that the orders would be prepared by Starbucks-trained baristas employed by Gopuff, operating from two of Gopuff’s Philadelphia micro-fulfillment centers. Customers would be able to order other non-Starbucks items as part of the same delivery, the companies said.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the micro-fulfillment centers in the city offered 24-hour delivery from the start. Around three dozen employees were trained to prepare Starbucks orders at the two sites, it reported.
When Business Insider looked at around 4:30 a.m. local time, Starbucks items available to order via Gopuff in Philadelphia included Frappuccinos, iced coffees, lattes, bakery items, sandwiches, and hot food. Many of the items were discounted, like avocado spread reduced from $1.25 to $0.25. All the bakery items were at least 25% off.
BI has asked the companies whether Starbucks deliveries are available on Gopuff in cities other than Philadelphia and how many micro-fulfillment centers are currently involved.
Gopuff told BI that the partnership enabled Starbucks to reach new customers and that it would launch a “Starbucks After Dark” campaign to grow nighttime orders.
Delivery, which Narasimhan said on Wednesday makes up just 2% of its orders, is an area of focus for Starbucks. Narasimhan said that Starbucks had some purpose-built stores “optimized for delivery” and that its US delivery business had grown nearly 80% year-over-year, helped by its partnership with DoorDash.
Starbucks CFO Rachel Ruggeri said at the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call in November that delivery has a higher attach rate, meaning more people add food to their drinks orders, and more group orders.
But keeping drinks piping hot or icy cold – and stopping them from spilling – during delivery can be a challenge. When it announced its nationwide partnership with DoorDash last January, Starbucks said that it had developed packaging to keep beverages and food at the right temperature and prevent drinks from spilling.
Starbucks said at the time that around 95% of its menu was offered via DoorDash. Frozen Refreshers and Nitro Cold Brew are among the items not offered via Gopuff, which The Philadelphia Inquirer reported is because they don’t travel well.