Starbucks Adds New Custom Option for Mobile Orders

The brand’s latest move supports its ongoing commitment to reducing waste by 50 percent by 2030.

Starbucks Personal Cup program launch images captured in store.
A new custom reusable cup smallware, developed during pilot testing last year, will be used to transfer drinks to customers' personal cups.

Today,  Jan. 3, Starbucks removed a potential obstacle to reusable cup adoption in the U.S. and Canada.

Now, customers can provide any clean, personal reusable cup for drive-thru and mobile orders at all company-operated Starbucks stores. Offering this option for mobile orders is a first for a national coffeehouse in the U.S., the brand says, and, in Canada, it is the first to offer customers the option to use a personal cup in mobile orders for all drinks and all sizes.

For mobile orders, the personal cup option now appears under the “customization” menu on the Starbucks app, whereas drive-thru and dine-in customers would notify the barista of their preference while ordering. In turn, customers receive a 10-cent discount.

“Bringing your own cup to stores is a critical step toward reducing single-use packaging waste,” says Kate Daly, managing director and head of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners. “Starbucks is a leader in this work, as the first national retailer of scale to offer personal cup ordering in every channel, including mobile order.”

Starbucks says it is able to offer personal cup ordering in all channels as a direct result of its tests at Starbucks Tryer Innovation Lab and at pilot locations across the U.S. Building off a successful personal cup test at 200 drive-thru stores across Colorado last spring, Starbucks store partners informed and helped co-design the custom reusable cup smallware all stores will now use to transfer beverages to personal cups.

“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,” said Brook, a partner who worked at a store that participated in the Colorado test. “This has been a really big hit.”

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