Stony Brook’s Faculty Student Association teamed up with the GET mobile ordering app this semester so that Starbucks fanatics could order their drinks and warm chocolate croissants without waiting in line. There is rarely a day that goes by when I’m not in Starbucks. It is where I study, order drinks between classes and meet friends. I recently tried the GET app because I had limited time to study for an important quiz and no time to wait in line. I prefer to order through the actual Starbucks app, but the Starbucks on campus don’t accept orders made in advance. Once I ordered through GET, I got an email confirmation that my order would be ready by 12:14 p.m. However, my order was not ready until 12:24.
Stony Brook promotes the app on its website’s meal plan page. The GET app allows students to select a college campus, and order food or beverages in advance from the campus’ retail locations. At Stony Brook, the GET app only applies to Starbucks locations. As part of the promotion, there is a video explaining how to use the app and its benefits. Everything in the video is accurate. However, it does not explain that your drink or study snack might not be ready at the time suggested. The video says you will get a message when your drink or food item is ready. But why give a time in an email for pick-up when a later message will tell you when the order is actually ready?
The only factor to consider in this situation is how busy the Starbucks location is. With the app, you can order from the Starbucks in either the Melville Library or Roth Cafe. I ordered from the library. It’s a common trend that the Starbucks in Melville is busier than the one in Roth; the university should take this into consideration when connecting with the app. Sometimes the app will deny students from ordering, because there are too many orders. Even with this limitation, I still have to wait 10 extra minutes for a venti iced latte.
This whole waiting game would also be shortened if the university would allow us to use the actual Starbucks app. At most Starbucks locations, not only can you order from the app in advance, but you can also use your Starbucks mobile card to pay for your order on the spot, earn stars that eventually lead to a free drink and get free in-store refills with possession of the app. I always use this app with the Starbucks in my neighborhood and have rarely had a problem with it. Earning stars also saves me money when I eventually get my free drink or food item. The Starbucks app has more benefits and allows you to order in advance, which was the main goal of why Stony Brook got the GET app for students. If FSA has not attempted to connect with the Starbucks app, this should happen immediately. If they haven’t been successful, then FSA should change over to an ordering app providing a more accurate wait time and possible benefits.
I never heard of GET until the university introduced it. Every Starbucks fanatic I know already has the Starbucks app and doesn’t have GET. Why waste the additional energy downloading an app when it has fewer benefits and creates a longer wait time? The university should attempt to link the Starbucks app with locations on campus instead of telling students to download an additional app where you will still have to wait. Don’t get me wrong — the wait time in Melville can be anywhere from zero to 30 minutes based on personal experience. In Roth, I’ve waited zero to seven minutes. Considering the wait times being different at each location, this needs to be a factor when choosing how to order in advance. We need an app that provides an accurate wait time when ordering and with benefits. It’s always nice to skip the line, but it’s even better when you’re not playing a waiting game with an app.