Starbucks Corp will begin offering delivery in New York City and Seattle later this year, when it also plans to expand mobile order and pay services across the United States.
The new efforts, to be announced at Starbucks’ annual meeting on Wednesday, come as U.S. restaurant chains ranging from McDonald’s Corp <mcd.n> to Panera Bread Co <pnra.o> turn to technology to increase sales, speed up service and connect with young, tech-savvy consumers.
Tenants in Manhattan’s Empire State Building will be the first to get Starbucks’ new “green apron” delivery service later this year.
The coffee chain will also partner with delivery service Postmates Inc in its hometown of Seattle, said Adam Brotman, Starbucks chief digital officer said. The service will be linked to mobile order and pay.
Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz, who has opined on divisive issues such as same-sex marriage and the national debt, also plans to weigh in on race relations in America. As part of the discussion, baristas are writing “Race Together” on Starbucks cups and the company plans to release online conversation guides on the topic.
Early reaction to the campaign has been sceptical, prompting some social media users to call the company opportunistic.
Starbucks currently has about 12,000 shops in the United States. Its shares, trading at $US93.65 ahead of the meeting, are up 25 per cent over the last 12 months and have outperformed the major averages.
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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