Compared to the fast food stalwarts that pioneered it, Starbucks drive-thrus are still kind of a new thing. The company's first foray with it began in 1994, seven years after Howard Schultz bought it from the original owners and twenty-three years after the first Starbucks opened in 1971.
But now it seems Starbucks is the one taking drive-thru ordering to the next logical level: two-way video screens where you can see and be seen by the person you are ordering from.
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StarbucksMelody.com, a fan site dedicated to the coffee chain, noticed drive-thru video chat screens being tested in several Starbucks in Washington and Nevada.
Some observers have noted that it makes sense that Starbucks would go this way: video screens gives more personalized service. Starbucks initially avoided offering drive-thrus in its early years because it was afraid it would undermine the coffee shop's purpose of giving people a welcoming refuge to tuck into a cup of coffee and sink into comfy chairs. They finally gave in because of customer demand.
The only question that remains: Will seeing your face on video as you pronounce your name allow the baristas to spell it correctly on your cup?