- Starbucks now lets customers use personal reusable mugs for drive-thru and app orders at all company and some licensed stores in the U.S. and Canada, the chain announced Wednesday.
- Diners can order all beverages in all sizes for any clean personal cup, and will receive a 10-cent discount or 25 Bonus Star-reward for loyalty members.
- Starbucks has added “a new, custom beverage craft smallware” for baristas to help standardize the the process of ordering a drink in a personal cup brought from home. Workers also use a contactless vessel to take and return the customer’s reusable cup.
This offering extends the company’s decades-long practice of allowing customers to bring mugs from home for in-store orders, and follows a 200 drive-thru store pilot of the process and equipment in Colorado last year. Starbucks didn’t disclose the expense of its new equipment.
A standardized process for resuable cup orders builds on Starbucks’ efforts to streamline its kitchen operations and better support baristas, who often prepare hypercustomized orders.
“As long as we are following all our procedures and steps, it doesn’t add any more time, and it is actually making customers happier,” a Starbucks worker, identified only as Brook, said in the press release.
At the drive-thru and in-store, customers tell Starbucks employees they would like to order using their personal cup, while in-app customers select personal cups as an option in the “Customization” section of their order.
The new process and accompanying discount and loyalty rewards may incentivize customer adoption of the process, which Kate Daly, managing director and head of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners, said was a step toward reducing waste.
Starbucks didn’t say what proportion of in-store orders are placed using customers’ reusable cups, and didn’t estimate the percentage of drive-thru or in-app orders it expects will make use of the option.
The company also tested a “Borrow A Cup” program in the fall that lets customers use and later return a reusable Starbucks cup for a $1 discount on their beverage order.