Mobile Ordering (MO) seems to be the way of the future. Starbucks is currently the global leader in terms of use for MO. Companies like McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts and some pizza chains like Dominos are following closely in Starbucks’ steps. McDonald’s is currently working on a mobile ordering system and according to, McDonald’s plans to make this feature available at all locations by 2018.

Advantages of MO

Mobile ordering has several benefits. The most important is not having to wait in line. The idea of ordering via mobile phones is to help save the customer time. This way, the customer can walk in, pick up their order and walk out. You can also take your time looking at the menu and ordering exactly what you want, without feeling the pressure of other people in line breathing down your neck.

The second benefit is the thought of not having to talk to anyone after a long day of work. Many commuters simply want to pick up their order and leave, without socializing. This saves time and energy when you need it most!

Disadvantages of MO

The idea is brilliant. But with every idea, there are flaws. Considering Starbucks is the global leader in mobile ordering systems, let’s look at their flaws.

As mentioned, no one wants to stand in line and wait but this is becoming one of the leading issues. There has become an overload of orders through MO and baristas cannot keep up with the demand. According to the result is a never-ending line, forcing customers to wait anyway.

The second issue is that customers must estimate how long it will take for their beverage to be made, which ultimately leads back to having to wait. If you get to Starbucks too early, your order may not be ready. If you arrive too late, it may have been sitting on the counter for too long. Moreover, preparation times can vary pending on in-store foot traffic. If your order is the only incoming order, it may only take a couple of minutes to prepare. However, if there are twenty people in store and another ten mobile orders, the wait will be much longer.


The solution to the first consequence can be very simple but costlier. According to, Starbucks CEO and President says that a tablet-based system will be implemented, allowing baristas to track incoming orders.

Furthermore, Starbucks should hire baristas to only deal with orders via MO. This can speed up the process and limit confusion when baristas are trying to separate orders in person and via MO.

The solution to the second problem is also in the works as part of Starbucks’ plan to make their mobile ordering systems better. That solution will notify users when their orders are ready, to avoid waiting for your order.