Starbucks is licensing its mobile ordering and loyalty program tech to Brightloom, which you might know more as Eatsa. Yes, that's the same company that used to run restaurants that took orders via iPad kiosks or its mobile app and dispensed quinoa bowls from a wall of digital cubbies. Brightloom now focuses on providing automation technology to restaurants, and its agreement with Starbucks will allow it to offer the coffee chain's mobile technology as an end-to-end, cloud-based platform to franchise holders around the world.
As CNBC notes, less than half of Starbucks' 80 global markets has access to the company's mobile app. This deal can potentially expand the app's availability to countries that don't have it yet -- in fact, Brightloom and Starbucks expect franchisees abroad to be among the first to sign up. The first ones and not the only ones, because other restaurants and companies can also buy access to the platform so they don't have to build a digital customer experience from scratch.
Starbucks is just one of the restaurant companies making technology-related advertisements as of late. Just a few months ago, McDonald's bought a machine learning startup to build an AI for drive-thru windows. Kevin Johnson, the coffee chain's CEO, said in a statement:
"The results we've seen in customer loyalty and frequency within our digital ecosystem speak for themselves, and we're excited to apply these innovations toward an industry solution that elevates the customer experience across the restaurant industry."