Why Isn’t “order Ahead” Available At Starbucks? (Everything To Know!)

Starbucks App is your best friend if you’re in urgent need of caffeine and don’t want to wait in lines.

Sometimes, the “Order Ahead” function doesn’t work. This happens on multiple occasions. Is this a glitch or is it something else? This is what we discovered…

Starbucks Doesn’t Offer “Order Ahead”

Starbucks’ order ahead service allows you to order food and drinks on the go via a smartphone app. You can then pick them up in store when they are ready. The order feature is so popular, that sometimes Starbucks staff can’t keep up with the volume of orders. This makes it unavailable for a brief time.

This article examines app ordering from Starbucks menus. We discuss why there may be delays, interruptions or non-availability. And we also look at what it’s really like to be on the other side of the app.

What can you order ahead at Starbucks?

Starbucks offers an order-and-pay ahead of time service that you can access via the Starbucks app. This allows you to explore the menu and customize your order. It also lets you find the best store location for you.

You can then choose your items and place your order. You can also indicate when you will pick up your order.

After you have placed your order and verified that there is a Starbucks Pickup Location, you can head into the store to check your name on the status board.

Why is my Starbucks Mobile Order not working?

Sometimes, the app cannot handle too many orders. Some stores might turn off the app at this point.

This has been happening more often and more frequently in recent years. There is no limit to how many people can use the app at once, but there are limits on how many employees each Starbucks location can employ.

This results in a high workload and severe stress for staff, who have to deal with angry customers and impatient customers.

You may have difficulty placing an order online. If this is the case, you can visit the store in person.

What happens when Starbucks stops accepting mobile orders?

Starbucks may stop accepting orders through its app if the order volume exceeds the store’s ability to fulfill them.

There are also other interruptions that can occur during orders:

  • Cups/lids/straws running low. The app does not always reflect the “real time”, even though it is supposed to update supplies.
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  • Staff shortage – Again, this is an external issue that cannot be corrected through the app
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What’s the Deal with Starbucks Mobile Ordering?

Starbucks’ app ordering service has become too popular, and Starbuck’s ability to fulfill orders seems to be outpacing it.

The recent (global) quarantine requirements and stay at home requirements are a major factor in the problem and have helped to avoid face-to-face interactions wherever possible.

It worked well back then, when it was used only by a small number of people. The app’s unique features and the service are now problematic.

How does it feel to place a mobile order at Starbucks?

More than 25% of Starbucks US transactions now take place via mobile orders. This is a lot of orders! These orders start as soon as the store opens, and they continue throughout the day.

These orders can be placed in addition to walk-in and drive-through orders.

App orders in large quantities can pose the following problems for staff:

  • Staff not being given enough time to prepare orders and then rebuking them with angry remarks
  • You can place orders through the app, while you are actually in the store
  • Late to pick up orders, baristas had to give the drinks away
  • Drinks that contain ingredients that are out of stock
  • Becoming impatient if refunds do not arrive immediately
  • The app allows you to order complex, even bizarre, concoctions. This takes a lot of time and barista time.
  • Getting angry at baristas for not making drinks “properly”, such as Tik Tok-inspired creations

You want to know more about Starbucks? These related posts will explain why Starbucks is so expensive. How can you get $100 bills from Starbucks? What do the lines mean on Starbucks cups?


It can be frustrating when you plan to order a Starbucks take-out lunch and then discover that ordering via the app is impossible (and there’s no obvious reason).

The dilemma is very common and can be caused by very logical reasons. It is possible to go into the store, place your order during a slower time or verify availability at another Starbucks location.

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About the author

I have always been a shopaholic. A lot of times my questions went unanswered when it came to retail questions, so I started Talk Radio News. - Caitlyn Johnson

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