Which POS System Does Starbucks Use?

As the largest coffee chain in the world, Starbucks processes millions of small transactions every day. The chain needs a reliable and performing POS to deliver a fast and convenient experience to millions of consumers needing a caffeine fix.

Find out more about the POS Starbucks uses to process transactions and deliver an unparalleled customer experience to millions of coffee lovers.

What POS Does Starbucks Use?

Starbucks uses Oracle Symphony, a POS solution designed for the restaurant industry. Oracle has been around since the 70s and has established itself as a leading provider of cloud-based solutions for businesses.

With over 18,000 registered patents, Oracle offers innovative solutions and stands out with an impressive $42 billion annual revenue.

It’s the kind of tech partner that can support growth for a major chain like Starbucks, which explains why the Seattle-based company switched from Square to Oracle Symphony several years ago.

What Is Oracle Symphony?

Not everyone has a state-of-the-art espresso machine at home. For many coffee drinkers, heading to the nearest Starbucks remains the best way to enjoy a latte, Frappuccino, or dirty chai.

Ordering a Starbucks drink is a simple task you probably won’t think about twice. Still, a lot is going on behind the scenes between when your barista punches in your order and when you walk out with your favorite warm beverage.

Here is what happens during a typical Starbucks transaction powered by Oracle Symphony:

  • The barista enters the details of your order on their POS device.
  • Alternatively, the Starbucks app or website sends your order details to Oracle Symphony, which relays them to your local store if you order online.
  • If you’re ordering in-store, the barista will scan your in-app loyalty barcode, and the POS will identify you. You’ll be able to redeem your points or get personalized recommendations.
  • Next, the POS will calculate the transaction amount by adding sales tax and applying points or discounts if applicable.
  • It’s now time to pay for your order. Oracle Symphony can communicate with a credit card terminal, mobile wallet, PayPal account, or Venmo app, depending on the payment method you select.
  • It might seem like the transaction stops here, but things are still happening behind the scenes. Oracle Symphony will log the transaction to upload your loyalty profile, update the store’s inventory, and create insights that reflect trends for this store.

Why Did Starbucks Choose Oracle Symphony?

Over the past few years, Starbucks has been prioritizing its digital transformation. COVID-19 accelerated this process, with the chain focusing on its drive-through model to offer a contactless experience.

Oracle Symphony has several features that support Starbucks’ mission, making this POS an excellent fit for the chain.

Integration With Physical and Digital Experiences

Starbucks has established itself as a modern coffee chain with convenient online and mobile ordering options.

However, offering a consistent online and in-store experience can be challenging for many businesses. Thanks to Oracle Symphony’s customer profile data feature, Starbucks can offer the same level of personalization offline and online.

Relying on Oracle Symphony also allows Starbucks to integrate elements of the online experience into its stores, for instance, with a POS that can scan in-app barcodes to keep track of rewards, display personalized recommendations in real-time, or send order data from the app to the store instantly.

A Fast and Reliable POS Solution

Did you know that more than two-thirds of Starbucks locations now prioritize drive-throughs, mobile orders, and deliveries? Starbucks is rethinking its business model and shifting toward a streamlined experience where customers spend as little time in the store as possible, if any.

Oracle Symphony supports this goal by offering a fast and reliable POS product that allows customers to complete their transactions quickly and efficiently. It also speeds up this process for the barista, who is free to focus on human interactions.

Plus, Oracle offers an offline mode so Starbucks stores can keep processing transactions in case of a connectivity issue.

It’s also essential to offer customers a safe and convenient experience. With an industry leader like Oracle, customers feel confident about sharing their payment information with Starbucks.

Oracle Symphony supports multiple payment methods, allowing customers to choose their preferred payment method. This feature has allowed Starbucks to innovate with payment methods like mobile wallets or apps like PayPal or Venmo.

Oracle’s Cloud-Based Model Increases Resilience

Many businesses responded to the pandemic by taking a more strategic approach to increasing their resilience. Starbucks is no exception; the chain has been focusing on its quality products, brand, and loyalty program to improve resilience.

Opting for a cloud-based POS like Oracle Symphony also helps improve resilience. This POS platform sends data to a remote cloud server, which protects customer profile data and other vital workloads. It also ensures the same data is available from any Starbucks location for a more consistent experience.

A cloud-based POS is ideal for a franchise like Starbucks because it allows for fast deployment. The coffee chain plans on opening 2,000 new stores by 2025. Oracle Symphony will facilitate this project by allowing store managers to quickly roll out the same POS solution available at all other Starbucks locations.

This fast deployment process means customers can expect the same experience in any Starbucks location, which contributes to the chain’s successful branding strategy and enhances loyalty to the brand.

Relying on the cloud also means Oracle Symphony supports integration with other cloud-based solutions. For instance, Starbucks’ POS can communicate with online ordering platforms like DoorDash, Grubhub, or Uber Eats and send order information to local stores for a seamless delivery experience.

Visibility and Real-Time Data

Thanks to Oracle Symphony’s reliable cloud architecture, Starbucks can collect and access valuable data in real time.

Collecting data at the store level allows the franchise to uncover trends, generate accurate demand forecasts, and identify ideal locations for new stores. It also supports inventory management and makes stores more reactive when trends change.

Data about customers’ orders and preferences helps the chain develop new products and promotions. For instance, Starbucks launched a line of unsweetened iced tea drinks in grocery stores after noticing that 43% of customers ordered tea without sugar.

Giving Starbucks stores access to data in real-time also enhances the customer experience. Starbucks has a popular loyalty program, and shoppers can easily access their perks, personalized recommendations, and offers during the checkout process, thanks to Oracle’s cloud capacities.

Besides, displaying personalized recommendations during the checkout process is a powerful tool for upselling.

The Oracle Product Family

Selecting Oracle Symphony makes sense for Starbucks because the chain uses other products from this company.

Starbucks relies on an Oracle database to track the origin of the coffee served in stores. The chain also uses an analytics solution from Oracle to leverage data collected at the POS level and support decision-making at the corporate level.

It’s easier to work with a single partner for these different tech products in support, billing, and integration. Using multiple Oracle products also allows the vendor to work closely with Starbucks and play a crucial role in supporting the digital transformation goals of the chain.

Final Thoughts

Starbucks is an innovative chain contributing to the rise of new trends like mobile ordering and contactless experiences in the food industry. Using Oracle Symphony has helped Starbucks meet its digital transformation goals while enhancing customer experience offline and online.

For restaurant owners looking to modernize their checkout process, leverage cloud computing, and integrate online ordering platforms, Oracle Symphony could be an excellent option to explore.


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