San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

It’s time for Starbucks to offer mobile order options at SDSU

There could be less stress if students had the same mobile ordering options to all the locations on campus
Christie Yeung
Starbucks is one of the most popular stores at SDSU, but its campus locations don’t offer mobile ordering.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile ordering has become an important option for consumers.

In 2023, many have stuck with the same order-ahead options they grew used to. Those with little spare time, especially college students, rely on mobile ordering to avoid unnecessarily long wait times and exposure to illness.

Instead of waiting an extended amount of time for their food and drinks, students can order ahead for a quick pick-up. Mobile ordering allows students to have more free time to walk to class, start homework earlier, or take a break. Sick students can walk in and out while reducing contact with others.

Students can place mobile orders at most spots on campus, such as Rubio’s, Chipotle and Everbowl. However, Starbucks — despite being one of the most popular spots on campus for students — isn’t one of them.

Nearly all Starbucks across San Diego, including those inside Ralphs and Vons, offer mobile ordering. But the nearest location for those at San Diego State University is inside the Ralphs on Montezuma Road.

If you’re on campus for a good chunk of the day, it’d be far more convenient to place a mobile order to one of three Starbucks locations on campus. Being on campus would be more enjoyable if SDSU added online pick-up options at Starbucks.

Getting a drink from Starbucks on campus often requires that you have at least 20 minutes to spare. The amount of time spent waiting in line for your drink makes it impossible to stop at Starbucks if you are in a rush — even for professors.

“I do (mobile orders) at other Starbucks, not on campus,” said Antoinette Domingo, an associate professor at the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences. “Sometimes I can be here for 20 minutes if it’s busy, (and) less if it’s not too busy. It varies.”

There’s no denying that on-campus Starbucks locations are frequently busy. When it comes to students at SDSU, Diego Alonzo, a first-year transfer, said that he supports mobile ordering at the Starbucks on SDSU’s campus.

“I probably would (order online),” Alonzo said. “I think the main reason I don’t go is because it’s so busy and packed all the time.”

SDSU’s Aztec Shops — which manages Starbucks on campus — is currently taking steps to expand mobile ordering for on-campus businesses.

“Aztec Shops has a different point-of-sale (POS) system than Starbucks-owned locations,” the organization stated in an email. “Aztec Shops has been negotiating with Starbucks to move to the Starbucks POS system. Aztec Shops hopes to be able to offer mobile ordering at its Starbucks locations in the future.”

Though this would help some students, students on meal plans may be at a disadvantage.

Starbucks is currently available on student meal plans, but for standard mobile orders on the Starbucks app, you have to pay with a card — either debit, credit or gift.

Students who want to pay for Starbucks using their meal plan would not be able to order ahead via the Starbucks app. However, SDSU can — and should — help make mobile ordering a reality for students on meal plans.

Other schools have implemented this option for students.

Recently, I took a trip to UCLA during Thanksgiving break and was amazed by their mobile ordering system. My friend was able to mobile order her lunch at the Bruin Café, using her meal plan via the Transact Mobile Ordering app.

Transact Mobile Ordering is an app that allows students to sign in, find their campus and pay by meal plan/credit card. Any school can partner up with Transact Mobile Order to provide students with a more convenient way of ordering.

Although Starbucks is currently unavailable for UCLA’s Transact system, SDSU could partner with Starbucks’ mobile ordering system. Doing that would greatly benefit students on meal plans, and other students who may not have to wait in long lines.

Students and professors save time and deal with less stress due to mobile ordering options off-campus. They shouldn’t have to stress out on campus wondering if they can make it to class on time because of waiting in line.

SDSU should allow everyone the same mobile order options to create more convenience on campus, which is key for all students.

About the Contributor
Christie Yeung, Photographer
Born in Hong Kong, Christie Yeung is a first-generation transfer student who majors in journalism at San Diego State University. Prior to arriving at SDSU, she served as the Gaming/Tech Editor, Features Editor and Managing Editor of SAC Media at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California where she was placed in on-the-spot competitions such as fourth in News photo, second in Portrait photo, first in Sports photo, first in Social Media and second in News writing, along with a meritorious mention in the Enterprise News Story/Series category from Journalism Association of Community Colleges. She was also awarded second in Best Breaking News Stories by the California College Media Association. During her free time, she likes to watch European soccer games, read, listen to Cantonese-pop music and play video games and Dungeons & Dragons with her online friends. She also has a sweet tooth and cannot turn away anything with Nutella in it.