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Starbucks mobile ordering via your smartphone expands nationwide

Users of the chain's mobile app across the US will be able to use their smartphones to order coffee, food, and other items while still in line or outside the cafe.

You can now preorder your cup of coffee at any Starbucks store in the US. Starbucks

In a hurry to get that jolt of java at Starbucks before you head to work? You'll now be able to preorder it before you even reach the store at any Starbucks location in the United States

The popular coffee chain announced on Tuesday that it has expanded its Mobile Order and Pay service to all of its 7,400 company-owned stores across the nation. The service allows you to place an order at your nearest Starbucks store, pay for it via the Starbucks app on your iPhone or Android phone and then pick it up.

Mobile Order and Pay started off as a test in December 2014 in Portland, Oregon, before branching out to the Pacific Northwest in March 2015 and then traveling to 17 states earlier this summer. The latest news marks the full rollout of the service nationwide.

The ability to pay for your items via your mobile phone has been spreading with the launch of such services as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay. All of these services allow you to use your smartphone to pay for items on the go at supported retailers. But Starbucks' Mobile Order and Pay offers one distinct advantage. You can order your coffee or food and pay ahead of time before you pick them up, sparing you the time and hassle of waiting in line for them to be prepared.

The initial limited rollout of the service has apparently proven profitable for Starbucks. In July, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said that Mobile Order and Pay was boosting sales and profits at the then 4,000 US locations where it was in place, Reuters reported. At the time Schultz touted the ability of the service to draw customers who want to avoid long times and wait times, saying that "lines are shorter, service is faster and in-store operations are more efficient."

How does Starbucks' Mobile Order and Pay work?

First download the Starbucks app for your iPhone or Android device and then sign up for the My Starbucks Rewards loyalty program. You then get a Starbucks card which you can fill up with money and add to your smartphone. The card also earns you rewards for each purchase. Launch the Starbucks app to choose a nearby store from the program's map view. After you select and place your order, you can view an estimated timeframe for picking it up and then prepay for it.

"Bringing Mobile Order and Pay to our customers is about meeting their needs of convenience and customization at any time of the day," Starbucks chief digital officer Adam Brotman said in a press release. "The fact that it also represents the fastest technology application rollout we have ever done is indicative of the strength of our digital ecosystem, how well it has been received by both our customers and store partners and the impact we think it can have on the future of retail."

The Starbucks iOS app supports the Apple Watch for finding stores, making payments and earning rewards. However, Mobile Order and Pay isn't yet available on Apple's smartwatch, so iOS users will still need an iPhone to tap into the full service, according to a Starbucks spokeswoman.

Starbucks said it plans to expand its Mobile Order and Pay to select company-owned stores in the UK and Canada in October.