I’m getting ready to meet up with a friend for lunch at an old and trusty favorite, Chipotle Mexican Grill (stock ticker $CMG). I’ve also been spending a lot more money at Starbucks lately (stock ticker $SBUX), and I’d say it’s 99.5% likely due to their incredible iPhone App. Apple has shown this functionality on their iPhone commercials, but if you’re not familiar, you can now pay for your coffee, latte, or whatever you fancy just by opening the app and scanning a code which is tied back to a Starbucks Card. It’s amazing. I know that I’m spending money, but to be honest it feels completely different than busting out a debit card or cash. The fact that you can set your card to reload, makes this more dangerous. Even more dangerous still, Apple’s Passbook in ios6 can sense when you’re at one of your favorite Starbucks locations and automatically bring your account up. I like to think of myself as a smart, frugal person, but I just want to reiterate that I’ve also been visiting Starbucks more than I ever have in the past. This could be disastrous for those people who already tend to make daily visits to their main source of caffeine. As I write this, Starbucks’ stock is up about 11% on the day due to a quarter that surpassed Wall Street’s expectations. Now, I haven’t really even seen the numbers or listened to a conference call, but my logic is telling me that a lot of other people are behaving just like I am when it comes to their coffee habits. It’s a win/win all around….customers are happy, service is quicker, and the company makes more money. Which brings me back to the original reason that I’m typing this out….
Why doesn’t Chipotle have an app that is featured on Passbook? Every time that I visit a Chipotle, there is a line. Granted, they’ve gotten pretty good about cranking out that line, but I also get the sense that everyone is in a complete panic behind that glass wall. It’s efficient, but I still have to bust out my credit card or cash to finish things off. It would be even better if I could just pull out my phone like I do at Starbucks, scan eat, and then prepare myself for that great, familiar burrito anticipation that is pretty unique to Chipotle. So to the folks at Chipotle, PLEASE GET ON IT! I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll be in there more often, if my experience at Starbucks can foreshadow anything.