NEW YORK, Nov 18 (Businesshala) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O)’s newest cafe lacks an element most customers are used to seeing: the cashier.
The global coffee chain on Thursday opened its first location in partnership with the e-commerce giant’s brick-and-mortar convenience store Amazon Go (AMZN.O), where customers can sit at a table with a latte or grab a sandwich. can. a shelf and walk outside.
Hit by the US labor crisis, Starbucks and other companies are expanding labor-saving technology such as artificial intelligence, robotics and digital touch screens.
White Castle is testing a robotic fry cook and Domino’s Pizza Inc. (DPZ.N) is experimenting with self-driving vehicles for delivery. IBM (IBM.N) is developing automated order-taking for McDonald’s Corp. (MCD.N) drive-throughs.
Rabobank analyst Tom Bailey said US restaurant staffing levels are still at least 10% lower than before the pandemic, which has helped boost margins.
“You’ll see some digital automation tools deployed to cover that 10% gap as they grow,” he said.
The pandemic has prompted people to order more online for carry out, delivery and drive-thru. To keep up, Starbucks shifted its growth strategy to new store formats, adding pickup-only locations in urban areas, as well as traditional cafes and suburban drive-throughs.
Starbucks and Amazon plan to open at least three more U.S. locations together in 2022, said Katherine Young, Starbucks’ senior vice president of global growth and development.
Starbucks baristas will create drinks and the rest of the chain’s menu at the new location in New York City, which will have the same staffing level as any other Starbucks, she said.
Customers can order through the Starbucks app and pick up a to-go coffee from a counter near the door. Or they can use a credit card, Amazon app, or Amazon One Palm Reader to enter the rest of the space, grab a snack off the shelves, or sit at a table.