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Starbucks is now offering delivery in San Francisco

Julia La Roche
·Correspondent
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If you live in San Francisco, ordering a Starbucks caramel macchiato or a nitro cold brew from the comfort of your office, apartment, or even the park is as easy as hailing a ride from Uber.

Last month, Starbucks (SBUX) announced plans to offer delivery at a quarter of its nearly 8,000 U.S.-based stores in early 2019 in partnership with Uber Eats.

On Tuesday, the coffee giant kicked off its Starbucks Delivery pilot program in San Francisco, the first of six cities that will start offering the service to customers.

Here's how it works: Customers place an order using the Uber Eats app for the approximately 95% of available menu items, including drink customizations. Customers can track those orders on the app while their beverage or food arrives within the 30-minute window. To ensure the products remain hot or cold as intended, Starbucks created specialty packaging. Deliveries come with a $2.49 fee.

Starbucks began piloting Starbucks Delivers in Miami last fall, making deliveries to customers in office plazas and on the beach.

"We did see some great things in Miami. I experienced it myself,” Starbucks COO Roz Brewer told Yahoo Finance in an interview in mid-December.

Brewer added that one thing the company noticed is customers place a larger ticket.

In the coming weeks, delivery will expand to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., bringing the total U.S. cities to seven.

Starbucks Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman demonstrates how to order a drink using the new mobile ordering system during the company's annual shareholder's meeting in Seattle, Washington March 18, 2015. Starbucks Corp will begin offering delivery in New York City and Seattle later this year, when it also plans to expand mobile order and pay services across the United States.  REUTERS/David Ryder  (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS)
Starbucks Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman demonstrates how to order a drink using the mobile ordering system in Seattle, Washington March 18, 2015. (REUTERS/David Ryder)

According to Statista, online food ordering is a $95 billion market worldwide and is expected to continue growing. Tapping into this opportunity, Starbucks is focusing its efforts on expanding delivery both in the U.S. and internationally.

One of the delivery battlegrounds has been China as Starbucks faces increasing competition from startups like Luckin. In the fall, Starbucks announced a partnership with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA) using Alibaba’s on-demand food delivery platform Ele.me, which outfitted its fleet of bikes to carry the beverages. After piloting in Beijing and Shanghai, Starbucks expanded to 2,000 stores across 30 cities in China.

Other markets where Starbucks is offering delivery include Japan, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mexico, Colombia, and Chile.

Starbucks also has plans to offer delivery in the United Kingdom this year powered by Uber Eats.

The company reports its fiscal first-quarter results on Thursday after the bell.

Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.