A line of people waiting.
A line of people waiting.

Jesper Yu/flickr

As consumers’ baseline expectations for speed and convenience continue to grow, technological innovation has kept up accordingly — but will this mean the end of the line as we know it?

There are far too many circumstances where waiting in line is a terrible, no good thing: maybe you’re late for a meeting or you’re feeling sick — or maybe you’ve just got a bad case of the Mondays. Pretty much anyway you slice it, there’s no denying that waiting around sucks. But what if you didn’t have to? Well, if you’re Starbucks customer (and let’s face it, we’re all guilty), the wait may finally be over.

As Mashable reports, Starbucks recently announced the launch of a new app feature called Mobile Order and Pay. It’s as simple as it sounds — now, you can pre-order your delicious double reindeer latte and lemon biscotti and have it ready and waiting for you when you arrive at the store. And if you live in a bustling hub like New York, you can use the app’s built-in GPS to select the location that’s most convenient for you.

What this move means for the immediate future of the line is unclear, but Starbucks certainly isn’t the first to queue up to this trend.

Waiting on the World to Change

Apps like Seamless and Caviar have long-catered (literally) to the customer that would prefer their food delivered straight to their office or doorstep. And companies like Instacart and Postmates have actually figured out how to distribute groceries and office supplies in a few easy clicks.

As more and more services compete for our attention, they’ve figured out how to best capture our monetary vote: by doing everything for us. Amazon, the most valuable retail brand in the world, has built its entire empire around speedy, seamless customer service, and now is offering one-hour delivery for items in select cities, as The Guardian details.

The consumer-facing market has gone “wait-crazy,” and customers are willing to pay big in order to put the pedal to the metal on their consumption.

At Disney World (considered by many to be a beta version of the US itself), the “Be Our Guest” restaurant uses an interconnected app and wristband with an RFID transmitter inside to track customers as they walk towards the restaurant, as explained in an article by Wired.

Families order their meals on the in-app menu, and as they arrive at the film-themed cafe, the host greets them, by name, and invites them to choose their own table. As if by magic, their steaming-hot food (pushed by a costume-clad gentleman or lady, of course) finds its way their table.

It’s not magic — it’s the service industry on steroids.

No Cutting

But it all makes sense — in a culture where people can learn about developing international news stories and share their innermost thoughts and reactions within the very same minute, waiting in line is beginning to feel somewhat outdated.

And fortunately, people’s expectations for frictionless, instant experiences are growing on a daily basis, which means that the market is wide open for new ideas and innovations. But as wait-times continue to shrink, demand will increase exponentially, and many thousands of developers will begin staking their claim in the burgeoning convenience-app market. Clearly, the time to act is now.

Luckily, getting in line for success has never been easier. With Infinite Monkeys’ intuitive, DIY app development platform, in as little as 20 minutes, you can build your very own time-saving app for just $9 a month! And hey — with all that leftover time and money, why not treat yourself to a double venti chocolate chip frappucino? Just make sure to place your order in advance.