Starbucks is expanding delivery options through a new partnership with Uber Eats.
The Seattle-based chain said it is in the “initial stages” of a delivery program that involves more than 100 stores in the Miami area.
“We’re always testing new products and experiences for our customers and look forward to hearing their feedback – and we look forward to sharing more details at a later date,” the company said in a statement.
Starbucks declined to elaborate on the test.
Uber Eats said the test is specifically in the Miami-Dade and Broward County areas of Florida.
"Select items from the Starbucks menu will be available, featuring favorite items that have been tested for delivery,” Uber Eats told NRN Friday, adding that the caramel Frappuccino has been the most popular delivery order.
Earlier this year, Starbucks said improving digital relationships is part of a strategy to improve stagnant sales, especially in the afternoon. It has been at least three years since Starbucks has expanded delivery options for customers.
Postmates, a San Francisco-based courier service, has delivered Starbucks to its customers since the company launched six years ago. In 2015, Starbucks entered a formal relationship with Postmates, with delivery launching in the Seattle area. The delivery reach has grown to 400 markets served by Postmates, including 88 stores in Miami.
“We've done over 1 million deliveries from Starbucks and it remains a popular merchant on the platform,” Postmates spokeswoman April Conyers told Nation’s Restaurant News.
In 2015, Starbucks also launched “Green Apron” delivery by baristas within the Empire State Building in New York.
The Uber Eats partnership comes as the chain has fallen behind quick-service and fast-casual competitors in terms of nationwide delivery options.
Earlier this year, Panera Bread expanded its 2-year-old delivery program to more than 1,300 stores across the U.S. The brand, unlike other chains, uses its own fleet of delivery drivers.
Delivery sales have become the one bright spot for the restaurant industry, which continues to face sluggish foot traffic. Over the last five years, delivery sales have increased 20 percent in the industry, according to market research report released earlier this year by market research firm The NPD Group.
“Delivery has become a need-to-have and no longer a nice-to-have in the restaurant industry,” NPD said.
Contact Nancy Luna at [email protected]
Follow her on Twitter: @FastFoodMaven