Starbucks Tills

As a treat/reward for doing the nursery run, I sometimes pop into Starbucks for a quick coffee on my walk home.

Today I had a voucher for a free coffee which, judging by the barista’s face, she’d not seen before. Yet it was processed with no loss of efficiency.

It occurred to me that the number of beverage combinations a Starbucks till has to handle is HUGE. Combined with all the promotions and offers, and different payment methods that they have, their tills could rapidly descend into a chaotic mess of soft-buttons. But it doesn’t. I don’t recall ever being held up at a Starbucks till.

As a software engineer this intrigues me. I wonder what their secret is. Is it very, VERY good user interface design? Is it great staff training? A combination of the two? Or something else; magic perhaps?

In any case, I’m sure there’s a lesson to be learnt from how they do it. If you’ve ever worked in Starbucks and can share their secret, let me know in the comments?