Starbucks officials detailed its upcoming rollout of the Square mobile payment system Wednesday during its annual Global Leadership Conference in Houston, as well as a number of other upcoming moves for the Seattle-based chain.
In a joint presentation with Square founder and chief executive Jack Dorsey, Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ chair, president and chief executive, laid out plans for the rollout of the mobile payment system, initially announced in August.
Guests can begin using Square to pay for their orders at Starbucks’ U.S. locations in November, and the company will enable digital tipping through both Square Wallet and Starbucks’ mobile payment app in the summer of 2013. Square will also process Starbucks’ credit and debit card transactions, which is expected to reduce the company’s payment processing costs.
The new mobile payment system is also integrated with Apple’s Passbook. From the Starbucks app, iPhone and iPod touch users can tap “add to Passbook” once, and swipe their Starbucks’ pass to pay. Passbook is time and location enabled, so the Starbucks card will show on the device’s lock screen automatically as soon as the customer walks in the store.
The partnership is expected to further expand use of mobile payment at Starbucks, which already boasts more than 70 million mobile transactions since the chain launched its first app in January 2011.
The Global Leadership Conference, a $35-million event scheduled to run through Oct. 6, was estimated to bring about 10,000 of the company’s store managers and regional leaders to Houston for “three days of inspiration, instruction and interaction,” the company said. During the conference, the company outlined a number of other upcoming moves:
• Evolution Fresh locations
Starbucks executives revealed the locations of the next two Evolution Fresh juice concept stores. A location in San Francisco’s Filmore district is scheduled to open in mid-October, which would be the company’s third. In mid November, a fourth unit is planned for Seattle in the University Village shopping center.
So far, Starbucks has opened two Evolution Fresh locations in the Seattle area, offering both ready-to-drink and fresh-blended juices and smoothies, as well as a full menu of healthful sandwiches, soups and salads.
• La Boulange rollout
Starbucks will begin rolling out La Boulange products to its company-operated stores in the U.S., beginning with the greater San Francisco area, in late spring 2013.
In June, Starbucks announced an agreement to acquire the San Francisco-based Bay Bread LLC and its La Boulange bakery brand for $100 million in cash, with plans to beef up food offerings at the coffeehouse chain, as well as grow the bakery chain separately and as a retail brand.
• Clover Brewing System expansion
Starbucks is planning to expand the use of its Clover Brewing System to about 200 more locations in the U.S. and Canada, along with availability of its Starbucks Reserve coffee line. Starbucks acquired the patented Clover system in 2008, describing it as “one of the most significant innovations in coffee brewing since the introduction of the espresso machine.”
Clover equipment produces a more-premium cup of coffee — though it takes a bit longer. Currently, about 347 locations within the 7,000-unit system across the U.S. offer Starbucks Reserve coffees in packages of whole bean, but also brewed by the cup with the Clover system.
On Wednesday, company officials said further global expansion of the Clover Brewing System is expected in key international markets, including Japan and the U.K.
• New Starbucks Reserve coffees
New coffees will also join the Starbucks Reserve lineup, including a rare Geisha coffee varietal from Costa Rica that Starbucks said “is one of the most highly sought-after coffees in the world this holiday season.”