Only technology can save you from the long lines at Blue Bottle Coffee

Photo by Square

Square’s latest app upgrade attempts to solve a pressing tech world issue — waiting forever in the long lines at a trendy Blue Bottle Coffee shop.

The Square Order app now has “arrival prediction” technology that notifies the baristas when a customer who used the app to pre-pay for coffee will arrive. That’s so the baristas can have the order ready to go when the customer walks in.

Sure, just-in-time-lattes sounds like a solution to a first-world problem. But it’s just part of a new wave of mobile phone payment ideas that companies ranging from Square to Apple are bringing to consumers.

Square introduced the Order app earlier this year as one of several products the San Francisco company hopes will spread its influence in the mobile payments marketplace.

Adding the arrival prediction service further refines the Order app, although for now, it’s only available at Blue Bottles in San Francisco and New York.

With the technology, a business that uses Square’s payments system sets geo-coded location tags around their establishment timed to the preparation times of items on the menu.

With Blue Bottle, baristas get notified when a customer who ordered and paid for a two-shot, almond-milk Gibraltar is approaching. They can then make the drink, place it on the counter with a receipt with the customer’s name at least theoretically the moment the customer enters.

The customer can go right the counter, pick up the drink and thumb their noses at the Luddites in line.

Square, which once had a promising payments system relationship with Starbucks, isn’t saying if other businesses plan to adopt the arrival prediction technology. But a spokeswoman said the company plans to roll out more new Square Order features in the coming months.

Read more at http://blog.sfgate.com/techchron/2014/10/08/only-technology-can-save-you-from-the-long-lines-at-blue-bottle-coffee/

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