Posted in Life

Just pour it out

One of the baristas suddenly walked over to the mobile order pickup spot, looked at the stickers on some hot and cold drinks, dumped them out, and threw out two or three food bags. I sat and wondered, “How often does that happen? How many people order online and never pick up? And why would anyone do that?”

Since this Starbucks is just off the interstate, many of their customers are traveling north or south on I-95 through northeast Florida. The food sign a mile or so before the exit might prompt travelers to open the app to place their order for a quick pick up. But then the driver gets distracted by a big truck on his tail or is yelling at children in the back seat or is fiddling with the radio and misses the exit. “What are you doing? I already ordered the coffee! Oh, never mind.”

Or, having ordered through the app, the interstate traffic suddenly comes to a stop. An accident has shut down all the lanes and no one is going anywhere for a while. An hour later, the hot drinks are cool and the cold drinks are room temperature. Down the drain they go.

Perhaps a child has borrowed mom’s phone to play a game or watch a video and happens upon the app. “I wonder what this does? Ooh, that looks good!” Before you know it, an order is on its way. Later in the day, a puzzled parent asks, “Were you on the app?” The wise and clever child replies, “I don’t know.”

It could be a prank by “friends” who notice your phone is unlocked. You know, the same friends who change the language on your phone. Or had those pizzas delivered to your house.

There are thousands of Starbucks in the US. Maybe you placed the order at the wrong store. And you were pretty aggravated when your order wasn’t waiting for you at the wrong store.

How long does an order sit there before being poured out? Let’s say it’s an hour. I could wander over at about 59 minutes to see what’s available for “pickup.” Yeah, my conscience probably wouldn’t let me get away with that.  I wonder how many online orders are picked up by someone else? What would happen when the customer shows up at the one hour and five minute mark looking for their order?