What POS System Does Starbucks Use? [2021]

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Starbucks is one of the biggest retailers in the world, and Square is one of the most well-regarded point-of-sale service providers, so their partnership should have come as no surprise. 

What was surprising was their somewhat messy breakup in 2015. But with 90 million payments to process a week and their profile only growing, they still needed someone to handle their payment processing.

That would arise from a partnership with Oracle and a shiny new software platform called Simphony.

Oracle Simphony

The question “What POS system does Starbucks use?” is quickly answered, but what’s more interesting is what Oracle Simphony is capable of. At its most basic, a point of sale system is simply a way to fulfill a transaction between the customer and the retailer.

Still, Simphony manages to operate as both a personalized concierge for customers and as an abundant reservoir of data for retailers like Starbucks to analyze; on the front-end, that translates into a more seamless and intuitive interaction with customers. 

Smart navigation lets baristas enter multiple orders efficiently and without errors, and it scales up to meet the needs of larger stores with more staff by providing a table management system.

From a broader business perspective, Starbucks’ move to Oracle Simphony was likely driven by the fact that it folds those point of sale interactions with the customer into actionable data.

More than just a point of sale system, Simphony doubles as a customer relationship management platform that can track everything from inventory to expenses.

Worldwide POS Systems

Starbucks’ international presence is massive in scope, so it’s understandable that a change to a new point of sale system wasn’t completely seamless.

While Simphony is the de-facto platform throughout much of the United States, it isn’t used everywhere.

In Iceland, for instance, Starbucks makes use of LS Nav, and stores in India are handled by TCS.

But Starbucks’ wholesale bet on Simphony would suggest we might see more international stores transitioning to Oracle’s POS platform.

Mobile POS Integration

Covid-19 has changed the ways many businesses operate, and Starbucks is no exception.

More and more Starbucks stores are being equipped with mobile point of sale devices: and that’s a decision that lets them serve customers both more safely and more efficiently.

This introduction of mobile point of sale devices in stores isn’t a new initiative.

Still, it’s one that has helped them weather the impact of Covid, and one that will likely only grow as customers and businesses adapt to the new normal of life after coronavirus.

As more and more customers opt for pickup experiences, this is a solution that allows Starbucks to handle these changing habits. Starbucks aims to have as many as 1,000 stores offering curbside pickup by the end of the quarter.

Mobile point of sale is being incorporated at the customer end too. In a smart move, Starbucks tied their rewards program tightly with their customer-facing app.

It’s a choice that encourages customers to take a digital approach to order their coffee in a way that minimizes face-to-face interactions.


So what POS system does Starbucks use?

That can differ a bit depending on where you are, but the chances are good that if you’re in the United States, your Starbucks is running on Oracle Simphony.

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Ryan Watkins

Ryan Watkins

Ryan is the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Rise SMB. He began this site as a way to help small business owners better understand the financial services, loans, and software available to them.

He has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Toronto and has served in various management & executive roles within the financial services industry, including most recently as the Head of Growth for leading Canadian Business Lenders, Loop & Lending Loop.

Much of Ryan's work has focused on providing accessible capital and credit building services to Canadian small business owners and entrepreneurs. In his spare time, Ryan loves bouldering, backpacking and drinking inordinate amounts of coffee.

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