Starbucks Is Testing Coffee Delivery to Office Workers in the Empire State Building

Opens a 'secret' kitchen on the ground floor

Headshot of Lauren Johnson

Only three weeks after rolling out mobile ordering in its U.S. stores—a service that lets people pay for drinks in a branded app and pick them up in stores—Starbucks is bringing coffee delivery to the office door.

Today, the coffee chain launched its first foray into food delivery with a store on the bottom floor of New York's Empire State Building, which houses 12,000 workers. The program—dubbed "Green Apron Delivery"—lets staffers in 150 offices order food and drinks through a website that only tenants in the iconic building can utilize, meaning that tourists will not be able to participate in the program. 

The new store isn't your typical Starbucks, though, mainly because you can't walk inside. Instead, it's more of a kitchen where baristas whip up a small menu of drinks and food.

Once someone places an order, a barista makes the drink and delivers it to an office within 30 minutes. Through October, the delivery option is free, and it will cost $2 per coffee run starting next month.

Starbucks was quick to emphasize its project in the skyscraper is only a test, but it's the latest example of how the company wants to make digital ordering mainstream. Last month, the coffee chain launched mobile payment at 7,400 stores, and later this year, it will launch another pilot program in its Seattle hometown as part of a partnership with on-demand app Postmates. 

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.
Publish date: October 13, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT