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Starbucks wants to create the AWS for restaurants

Proprietary Starbucks software is going to facilitate rewards, ordering, payment, personalized information, and offers for other restaurants in the industry.

Starbucks wants to create the AWS for restaurants
[Photo: Charles/Unsplash]

Starbucks may soon be rivaling the services of another Seattle-based megacorporation.

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The coffee giant just announced a deal with Brightloom (formerly Eatsa), a technology company that provides end-to-end cloud-based software for the restaurant industry. Under the deal, Starbucks will grant Brightloom a software license to select components of its proprietary software with the aim of facilitating rewards, ordering, payment, personalized information, and offers.

Think Amazon Web Services but for restaurants, a cloud-based solution from a coffee brand known more for pumpkin spice latte than tech.

A spokesperson for Starbucks said Brightloom will work with global Starbucks license partners to implement the platform. “Currently, out of our 80 markets around the world, a little less than half of them currently have the Starbucks Mobile App, and only eight markets have mobile order-processing capability,” he says. “Brightloom will look to work with our global licensees to implement these capabilities.”

Brightloom has already brought on board Kuwait-based Alshaya Group, which operates 90 consumer retail brands across the Middle East, North Africa, Russia, Turkey, and Europe; and Alsea, a Mexican multibrand restaurant company that operates locations across Mexico, South America, and Europe.

The idea is to create a one-stop-shop for restaurant brands that often rely on piecing together different digital partners for mobile, payment, order management, loyalty, personalization, and customer-relationship management. Starbucks will continue to drive software development for all company-operated markets.

“At Starbucks, the results we’ve seen in customer loyalty and frequency within our digital ecosystem speak for themselves,” CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement, “and we’re excited to apply these innovations toward an industry solution that elevates the customer experience across the restaurant industry.”

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In connection with this licensing agreement, Starbucks will take an equity stake in Brightloom and receive a seat on the company’s board of directors.

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About the author

Lydia Dishman is a reporter writing about the intersection of tech, leadership, and innovation. She is a regular contributor to Fast Company and has written for CBS Moneywatch, Fortune, The Guardian, Popular Science, and the New York Times, among others.

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