Starbucks began offering delivery within the Empire State Building Tuesday, giving office workers in the skyscraper the option of paying a $2 fee to avoid making a trip to the lobby.
The Seattle-based coffee chain says 12,000 employees who work in the New York City building can place orders on a designated website, and have their food and drinks delivered within a half hour. The orders will be delivered to a drop-off area, such as the office's reception desk.
Starbucks Corp. says the service is in line with its push to make its offerings increasingly convenient. That includes the company's recent national rollout of mobile ordering, which lets people place orders ahead of time so their food and drinks are waiting for them when they arrive at their designated store. By the end of this year, Starbucks also plans to roll out delivery in Seattle in partnership with Postmates.
For the Empire State Building, Starbucks said it is charging a flat $2 delivery fee which is the same whether people order a single latte or five Frappuccinos (orders are capped to 15 items). The website does not yet have an option for tipping workers, although people might just want to give a couple extra dollars in cash anyway.
"They could, but right now we're asking our partners to politely decline (tips)," said Haley Drage, a Starbucks spokeswoman.
The delivery service in the Empire State Building will be supported by a space in the back of a Starbucks Express location in the lobby of the Empire State Building. People have to be enrolled in the Starbucks loyalty program to place orders online for the delivery service.
Drage said the company will see how the pilot program in the Empire State Building goes before expanding it to other New York City buildings.
The Empire State Building's tenants include Shutterstock, Human Rights Watch and Skanska, according to the website of parent company Empire State Realty Trust.