The coffee chain reported disappointing sales growth on Thursday and partly blamed the "congestion" in its stores for prompting some people to leave without buying anything. Starbucks said the popularity of its mobile order-and-pay option, which was supposed to make getting a drink easier, has caused bottlenecks at the areas where people pick up their drinks.Well, yes, if 'phone-it-in joins drive-by as getting preferential treatment, that's going to annoy the walk-in trade, whether it's paying cash or using a card or hackable money on the iToy.
[CEO Howard] Schultz has stressed that Starbucks is positioned to adapt. He noted that the congestion created by mobile order-and-pay is a good problem, and the company is working on operational changes in stores to alleviate the issue.There might be something simple. Like not giving walk-up patrons lots of time to stew and choose whether to give "Claude Raines" or "Ralph Ellison" as the name to put on the label.