US coffeehouse chain Starbucks has partnered with Chinese company Meituan to strengthen its footprint in the country.
The partnership will enable customers to place delivery orders on the Meituan app, reported Reuters. The app will also allow customers to book tables at Starbucks stores.
Starbucks intends to leverage Meituan’s ‘super store’ feature to create a unique page for each of its stores on Meituan’s platforms by the end of 2022.
The feature will allow customers to order food for delivery or check local events.
Under this collaboration, the two companies will also launch a new service that will enable Meituan users to make private bookings for coffee tastings and classes on coffee making.
The Meituan partnership is expected to further enhance Starbucks’ reach in China.
In 2018, Starbucks commenced delivery services in China through a partnership with Alibaba Group’s Ele.me.
A year later, the coffee company extended its alliance with Alibaba by introducing voice ordering and delivery for Chinese customers. This partnership allowed customers to place voice-enabled food and beverage orders.
Citing Starbucks’ latest earnings report, Reuters said that Starbucks currently operates 5,360 stores in China. It is the coffeehouse chain’s second-largest market outside the US.
In December 2021, Chinese officials reportedly carried out food safety checks at Starbucks coffee shops due to the alleged use of expired ingredients.
The inspections were conducted after a local newspaper reported that two Starbucks outlets in Wuxi had used expired ingredients in their drinks.