Starbucks is finally upgrading its locations inside airports and Kroger to be more like the chain's other cafes

Starbucks is finally upgrading its locations inside airports and Kroger to be more like the chain's other cafes
Jeff Gritchen/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images
  • Starbucks is adding key features to licensed stores.
  • Locations in airports and grocery stores will get Starbucks rewards and mobile ordering.

Loyal Starbucks customers will finally get all the perks of a standalone Starbucks when they visit licensed stores in Kroger, airports, and other retailers.

The chain is extending rewards and mobile ordering to licensed stores, Chief Marketing Officer Brady Brewer announced at Starbucks Investor Day on September 13 in Seattle. Both rewards and mobile ordering have become key to the business in recent years, with accelerated growth during the pandemic, Brewer said.

Right now, the company offers an "inconsistent experience," across locations, Brewer said. As a commitment to creating the same experience at all stores, Starbucks will extend a program called Starbucks Connect across licensed stores that will bring those benefits.

Starbucks has 7,000 licensed stores in North America, making up about a third of total stores as of August 2022. About 1,400 of them have already adopted Starbucks Connect, Brewer said. They made up about 12% of sales in the third quarter, with over $900 million in revenue.

Rewards and mobile ordering are both hugely popular among Starbucks customers.


Starbucks has one of the most successful rewards memberships in the fast food business. One in 10 US adults is a Starbucks rewards member, Starbucks said. Members receive points for purchases using the chain's app, which can be used for free food and drinks, and other rewards coming soon. The program has 27.4 million members as of the end of the quarter, a year-over-year increase of 13%. Rewards members were responsible for over half of Starbucks' sales last quarter.

Mobile ordering is also big business for Starbucks, making up about a quarter of all orders, Starbucks said. The service will be available at grocery stores and airport locations once Starbucks Connect goes into effect.

The company did not share when these changes would take place.

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