Embracing Order-Ahead Mobile Apps for Coffee Shops

Executive Summary

In today’s fast-paced world, convenience is paramount. Coffee shops, the haven for many in the midst of bustling lives, are increasingly seeking ways to enhance the customer experience. Order-ahead mobile apps have emerged as a game-changing solution, particularly when integrated with popular payment systems like Square. This white paper delves into the transformative power of these apps, building on insights from Espressly, an innovative player in this domain.


As a coffee shop owner, you understand that your business isn’t just about serving beverages; it’s about delivering an experience. The morning rush, the mid-day pick-me-up, or the late afternoon lull — each visit presents an opportunity to create lasting connections. But in a digitized era, how do you maintain this connection without physical presence? The answer: Order-ahead mobile apps.

The Shift to Digital

Traditional walk-ins are still a substantial part of the coffee shop model, but the digital realm is expanding rapidly. With over 80% of Americans owning a smartphone, the move towards mobile ordering isn’t just inevitable — it’s already here.


  1. Convenience for Customers: In an age of instant gratification, waiting in lines isn’t ideal. Mobile ordering removes this barrier, allowing customers to order at their convenience.
  2. Increased Efficiency: Staff can prepare orders with a clear heads-up, streamlining the service during peak hours.
  3. Enhanced Customer Experience: Loyalty programs, personalized offers, and instant feedback mechanisms elevate the overall customer journey.

Square Integration: The Perfect Brew

Many coffee shops use Square for its robust POS and payment solutions. Marrying this with an order-ahead app amplifies its potential. Here’s why:

  • Unified System: Integrating the app with Square ensures seamless transaction processing.
  • Digital Loyalty Programs: Platforms like Square Loyalty can be incorporated, allowing patrons to earn and redeem points, as seen in the collaboration with Lucky Finn Cafe.
  • Data-Driven Insights: Square’s analytics combined with app data can offer actionable insights for shop owners.

The Espressly Difference

Espressly stands out in the realm of order-ahead apps. Their emphasis on creating tailor-made apps for individual coffee shops ensures a personalized touch, strengthening brand identity.

Notable Features:

  • Customizable Interface: Reflects the ethos and branding of the coffee shop.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, so does the app. Be it adding a new menu item or integrating a new feature; the platform scales with you.
  • Retention: Espressly’s apps are known for their stickiness. A staggering 93% of shops that integrated it continued to use it, testament to its efficacy.
  • Financial Gains: With shops reporting significant sales via the app and impressive MRR figures, the ROI is evident.

Real-World Success: Lucky Finn Cafe Case Study

Lucky Finn Cafe, with its three locations, exemplifies the success of integrating an order-ahead app with Square. Their collaboration with Espressly led to:

  • Enhanced Customer Interaction: The digital loyalty program saw patrons returning, with some placing orders as frequently as daily.
  • Streamlined Operations: Order preparation became efficient, managing the morning rush with ease.
  • Financial Uplift: With an impressive order volume and sales figures, Lucky Finn witnessed tangible growth.

Conclusion: The Future is Order-Ahead

As the lines between the physical and digital blur, coffee shops must evolve. An order-ahead app, especially when integrated with trusted platforms like Square, isn’t just a trendy addition; it’s a necessity.

The transformation is more than just about sales. It’s about staying connected in a digital age, enhancing the customer experience, and ensuring that every cup served, be it in-shop or ordered ahead, is a testament to the coffee shop’s commitment to its patrons.

For those looking to embark on this digital journey, Espressly serves as the ideal partner, bridging tradition with innovation, one order at a time.