A barista is taking the initiative to use the new contactless vessel providing the customers drink in a reusable cup; Photo Credit Starbucks

On January 3, 2024, customers were granted the opportunity to begin using their own personal cup for every visit at Starbucks. This experience allows customers to interact and make each experience more personal with their local Starbucks baristas. All Licensed stores in the U.S. and Canada will participate in allowing reusable cups. You may provide your own cup in all location settings including the drive-thru, Starbucks mobile app, and in café. 

Starbucks is the only national coffeehouse in the U.S. to offer customers the option to use their personal cup when they make a mobile order. The idea of allowing reusable cups originated in order to reduce waste. Starbucks has a set goal to try and reduce the company’s waste by 50 percent by the year of 2030. Majority of Starbucks beverages are already on-the-go, this provides opportunity for customers to choose reusables and supports Starbucks commitment mission to reducing waste. The participation of customers in using reusables allows them to be rewarded through the mobile app. Customers will be able to earn 25 stars in rewards and receive a $0.10 discount on their handcrafted beverage. This benefit will be Valid at participating stores only with a maximum purchase reward of three times per day.

How does the process work ? Customers will be allowed to bring in any reusable cup. Baristas are unable to accept and clean cups of customers so it is important that the cups are cleaned beforehand for partners’ safety. Any size beverage will be allowed to be ordered in these reusable cups varying from short to trenta depending on the bevrage. If you are unsecure ask your barista questions to clarify your concerns. 

When ordering in thecafé, customers must notify the barista when they order that they brought their own personal cup and hand over the cup, without the lid to the barista. Baristas will then follow protocol and have the drink out as soon as possible for the customer. Customers choosing to sit and stay in café can request a reusable ceramic or glass cup at most stores. 

In the drive-thru, while ordering, customers order their beverage as usual, and let the barista know they brought their own cup. When customers pull up to the pickup window, baristas will collect the personal cup without the lid using a contactless vessel to ensure hygiene and safety. The beverage will be returned the same way. 

When customers order via the Starbucks app, first they will hit the “Customization” button and then select “Personal Cup” in the customization menu and continue ordering as normal. When they get to the store, customers will be given the chance to connect with their barista at the pickup area, and hand over their clean personal cup without the lid. The barista will hand the beverage back in a contactless vessel. 

Starbucks is able to offer personal cup ordering in all channels as a direct result of its test and learn approach, informed by partners (employees) in Starbucks Tryer Innovation Lab and at pilot locations across the U.S. This idea was created off of a successful personal cup experiment  across Colorado last spring allowing 200 drive-thru stores to participate.

A barista  named Brook who participated in the experiment to better the environment explained “as long as we are following all our procedures and steps, it doesn’t add any more time, and it is actually making customers happier, this has been a really big hit.”

Starbucks has been championing reusable cup options for 30 years, and in recent years Starbucks has conducted more than 20 reusables tests in stores around the world with more planned in the year ahead. The idea behind these tests is to prevent waste and provide a safer, clean environment for our future.


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