Danielle Nykanen

Starbucks Connect creates new Munch Money option




Around campus there are many exciting projects that are coming to fruition in the next couple months. Currently, the college is working to integrate a new Starbucks Connect system to be assessable to students and the Alma community.

OnJan.16thefirstpart of the renovations took place which installed the wiring for the system. The installation process will be ongoing until the end of March.

“We are currently about halfway through the install process, this program takes 10 weeks to install and there are a lot of tasks that must be completed with a target date of March 22nd for launch,” said Micah Barman, General Manager of Campus Dining.

“We are waiting on new hardware to be shipped to the location. However, IT related infrastructure is being worked on at this time,” said Barman.

The new system will offer new features for Alma College students to utilize at Starbucks. Students will now be able to use their Starbucks app to remote order their drinks. Additionally, students will be able to use their Starbucks rewards with their Munch Money.

“Alma College Starbucks customers will be able to use the full rewards program. Also, all customers will have access to remote ordering,” said Braman.

Many students are excited for the new additions to Starbucks. Numerous students have been waiting for the opportunity to use their Munch Money with their reward points.

“Since coming here I found it frustrating when I couldn’t use my rewards points with my munch money. I go to Starbucks almost daily and I would be able to save a lot of money through their rewards system,” said Kylie Demarets (‘25).

The Starbucks reward system is a function found on the Starbucks app that allows users to gain stars which are tracked as points. When a user spends a dollar, they receive a star in return. Different amounts of stars grant you different rewards ranging from a free customization of a drink to free select merchandise.

Throughout the year the system grants users special offers such as additional stars on select holidays or exclusive access to personized offers like a free drink on a birthday.

Alongside of the rewards features, the new system will assist baristas to keep up with orders at a faster rate. 

“The program will automate some back of the house tasks to speed up service and ensure better accuracy for customizing beverages,” said Braman.

One major issue that Starbucks employees and customers deal with daily are long lines that accumulate throughout the day. These long lines can create a noisy environment that can be distracting for students who utilize the café space to study.

“The new system I believe will be an effective way to reduce wait time in Starbucks. The new addition of the remote ordering system will help decrease the lines which will bring a quieter environment in the store for people like me who utilize it to study,” said Madison Arnzarut (’23).

“I’m hoping that this doesn’t make things too much harder on the baristas, they already work hard to be sure we get our correct orders and get them in a timely manner. I hope that online ordering and the reward system work out just as well for them as it will for us,” said Aubrey North (‘23).

Overall, the system will create new opportunities for students to utilize munch money while on campus. The progress of the project will be updated for the campus community once the launch date nears closer.

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