STARBUCKS TO OPEN DRIVE-THRU... It's a first for Palo Alto: a drive-through Starbucks. The coffee company is poised to open its seventh outpost in the city in the former location of Jack-in-the-Box at 3885 El Camino Real. Scheduled to be completed this summer, the store will use the existing space that was previously devoted to Jumbo Jacks and curly fries. "We look forward to opening this location ... and anticipate it will add approximately 20 new jobs to the community," a Starbucks spokesperson said. Of the six other stores in Palo Alto, one is located three blocks south at 4131 El Camino Real. An employee at that location said, "We were told there wouldn't be any competition between the two stores because the new one is a drive-through and will attract a different kind of customer that comes in here," she said.
NEW APP FOR SHORTER LINES ... For those not wanting to wait for the new drive-through — and not wanting to wait at all for coffee — there's a new app. Now in use at the wildly successful Philz Coffee, it eliminates standing in lines that sometimes snake out the door. Company CEO Jacob Jaber had been looking to cut down on wait times, and the app allows customers to place their orders before they arrive at Philz. Users of Tapviva enter their coffee order on their phone, and that order transmits to a screen at Philz. "So our baristas don't have to answer the phone and people don't have to wait in line. When we fill the order, we put it on the table, we write the customer's name on the cup, they come in and pick it up. That's it. It's meant for people in a hurry," Jaber said. Tapviva is available at the downtown Palo Alto Philz, 101 Forest Ave. Jaber hopes it will soon be accessible at the midtown location at 3191 Middlefield Road.