Square Order Uses Mobile to Offer Coffee on Demand

With the new Square Order app, coffee shops can have orders ready and waiting the moment a customer steps through the door.

Square, a mobile point-of-sale tool popular with small businesses, is attempting to extend its services into the online reservation arena with Square Order, an app that partners with coffee shops to allow customers to pre-order their beverage. The mobile app for iPhone and Android uses geolocation technology to track users’ mobile devices after they order coffee, then alerts the café when a customer is close so that baristas can have the order waiting. No matter when the customer places an order, it’s not prepared until he or she comes within range of the store, ensuring that the coffee is hot whether customers are delayed or right on time. The app also accepts mobile payments so that users need only pick up their drinks and go.

Square is well adapted to the move from point-of-sale service to mobile orders, according to Shannon E. Dennison, vice president of product and insights for Voltari, because of the company’s already solid reputation for reliability and efficiency. “Having already established their brand as a leader in mobile point of sale, most importantly, in terms of being perceived as a safe and trusted way to exchange money, should play well as a natural extension, in consumers’ minds,” she says.

However, this isn’t Square’s first foray into mobile payments. Three years ago, the company introduced an app called Square Wallet, which allowed users to upload payment information and pay for goods via checking in through the app and simply giving cashiers a name at checkout. But the app proved unsuccessful and quietly disappeared from iTunes earlier this year.

When Square Wallet launched, mobile users simply weren’t ready for the possibility of mobile payments, but three years has made a world of difference in the mobile market. “Square now seems likely well positioned to move into the mobile order and reservation space,” Denison says. “As the consumer population becomes informed, familiar, and accustomed to expanding uses for our mobile devices, newer versions of previous applications, or new applications to accomplish similar things, will enjoy broader acceptance.”

Currently, Square Order is only available in Blue Bottle coffee shops across New York and San Francisco.

Image via Shutterstock.

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