Starbucks considers delivering with “hidden kitchen”

Coffee giant Starbucks is considering testing delivery-only “virtual” units in the U.S. after experiencing success with the model in China.

“It doesn’t really matter where that is prepared,” Starbucks CFO Patrick Grismer said at the Piper Jaffray Consumer Marketplace Conference. “What the consumer cares about is that it is of high quality and that it’s delivered in a timely fashion. … We’re learning from their experience to understand how we might bring a similar model to life in the U.S.”

Starbucks has already partnered with major delivery provider Alibaba in China to create a “hidden kitchen” for delivery orders. They are considering trialling the system in large metropolitan areas like New York City.

The company launched U.S. delivery options last year in a pilot program in Miami, and delivery is now available at 1600 stores in seven U.S. cities.