Buck’s New Service Lets You Order Coffee Like a Rock Star
A new service launching in a Seattle suburb today lets you order and pay for a cup of coffee from your mobile phone and have it waiting for you at the counter when you arrive.
Coffee Like a Rock Star is the brainchild of Buck, a Seattle-based company that has come up with a way to make it easier to pay for things using your mobile phone.
What stands out about the service (other than its name) is that it requires very little hardware or set-up, and very few steps for coffee drinkers.
It is also providing a kind of service, for small cafes, that companies like Starbucks haven’t figured out how to implement on a large scale. Starbucks has experimented with mobile ordering in the past, but has dismissed the idea because it finds it difficult to provide a consistent user experience.
To use Buck’s service, coffee drinkers can visit CoffeeLikeARockstar.com from the browser on their PC or mobile phone to find a participating coffee shop. The user must enter their credit card information the first time, but then the information is stored for future payments. Buck then sends a text message to the barista with the order. Buck charges 35 cents to process the payment, and pays the coffee shop at the end of each month.
The service is launching today at two cafes in Burien, Wash., the hometown of Buck’s CEO Andy Kleitsch.
The part that Starbucks has struggled with is timing the coffee with the person’s arrival, a trick that Coffee Like a Rock Star doesn’t try. Baristas fill orders as they are placed, and Kleitsch figures users have “a general idea of how much time is needed by their regular coffee shop to prepare an order.”
Presumably, a smaller coffee shop should be able to handle mobile demand, whereas a popular Starbucks could be inundated with remote orders, making timing issues more of a concern.
Buck was founded about five years ago, and was originally called Billing Revolution. It started off processing credit card transactions for digital goods, and is now focused on streamlining the checkout process for physical goods by remembering your payment information based on your phone’s profile. The company has raised funding from Doll Capital, SK Telecom and Citibank Ventures.
Here’s a video demonstrating Coffee Like a Rock Star: