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San Francisco Home > Gear > Skeptical Investigation

Published November 16, 2012

Skeptical Investigation
Using Your Phone to Order Drinks

CoasterWe’re lovers. You know that. But every now and again, something comes across our desks that just seems... suspicious. Because of the tremendous material upside to all our lives if these claims pan out, we at times put ourselves in harm’s way to investigate. Albeit skeptically.

We call it: Skeptical Investigation. (Trademark pending.)

THE CLAIM
A new local app, Coaster, lets you order a drink from the bar and pay for it... on your phone. Think of it as Seamless for getting your Rob Roy on.

THE INVESTIGATION
It was cocktail hour. Our tester—iPhone in hand, app loaded—whittled down the app’s list of 16 connected bars and clubs (mostly in the Marina and SoMa for now) to one: Jones.

Then, while seated at a table on the patio, our researcher signed in to Coaster. After browsing the menu, they landed on a Moscow Mule, added it to the cart (Amazon-style) and waited. In roughly three minutes, a push notification alerted them to pick up the drink at the upstairs bar. Drink retrieved. Tip left. Rinse. Repeat.

THE VERDICT
Obviously, it’s most useful when the bar’s crowded, and it’ll be better as the service adds bars—but anything that makes getting a drink easier is good.

Even if a robot could never truly replace Sam Malone.
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