The daily grind
Starbucks location in The Commons has the highest amount of mobile orders in the U.S.
When it comes to getting Starbucks at The Commons, UB students face a choice: wait in line for up to 30 minutes, or as the baristas call it, “going mobile.”
The UB Commons location has consistently ranked in the top three most popular mobile ordering locations in the U.S., with a total average of 400 to 500 mobile orders per weekday. The Commons Starbucks sees between 1,300 to 1,800 customers a day, a stat that manager Jennifer Badame attributes to the North Campus location’s high student traffic.
Badame said 40 to 43 percent of the franchise’s business comes through mobile orders. While the location sometimes receives eight mobile orders per second, Badame said, it simultaneously reduces the number of people waiting in line.
“If you don’t have 30 minutes to wait in line, then go mobile, because the line is sometimes ridiculous,” Badame said. “People just don’t want to wait, so unfortunately, the long wait times contribute to our success.”
Although mobile ordering increases the speed of service and gives customers the opportunity to pick out exactly what they want in their drink, the baristas lose in-person contact with their customers, Badame said.
“Starbucks is expensive,” Badame said. “Let’s be honest, it’s pricey. But we offer high quality beverages and take pride in our great customer service. As great as the mobile is there are drawbacks to it.”
The caramel macchiato is the most popular drink on the menu, according to the baristas, although their brewed roasts remain a house favorite. Customers tend to order straight coffee in the morning, and as the day goes on, order more sugary drinks like Frappuccinos and macchiatos, according to Badame.
The Spectrum spoke with 10 customers at the mobile order pick-up station, and six out of 10 students said that they preferred beverages on the sweeter side, like the house favorite, caramel macchiato.
Yi Yang, a sophomore accounting major, said she visits the UB Commons Starbucks around five times a week to get a Caramel Brulée Latte.
Sydney Siembida, a sophomore communications major, doesn’t visit Starbucks regularly for her caffeine fix. Siembida thinks of her favorite double chocolate chip Frappuccino as more of a dessert rather than coffee, she said.
“Their fraps are fire, but I only go to Starbucks when I’m really craving it,” Siembida said. “It’s also really expensive to waste $5 on drinks when you think about how much money you spend on them over a longer period of time.”
Badame said the rush of students on weekdays is what makes their location so successful.
“We never really promoted it, while other locations in Buffalo have a hard time getting mobile orders,” Badame said. “Here, we don’t have to draw customers. They just come in.”
Anna Savchenko is a staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org