A popular city centre coffee shop has teamed up with a local software developer to launch what it believes is the country’s first iPhone app allowing customers to pre-order drinks.

Urban Coffee Company, an independent coffee shop in Birmingham’s Colmore business district, has launched the app which allows customers to cut down on waiting time by ordering their drinks so they are ready when they arrive.

Simon Jenner, founder of Urban Coffee Company, said: “It’s no secret that making a fantastic cup of coffee takes time – we brew our speciality filter coffees freshly for each cup, which means a short wait is inevitable.

“We found that more and more customers started calling the store to pre-order their drinks – especially for large or complicated orders – so we decided to devise an online ordering facility to speed the process up. Our customers are a tech-savvy bunch, and from day one we’ve used social media such as Twitter to communicate with them.

“With that in mind, creating an iPhone app seemed like a logical step to take.

“We believe this is the first coffee ordering app in the UK as apps available from other coffee shops concentrate on explaining menus, translating ‘barista speak’ and locating stores rather than simply being able to order a coffee before you get there.

“We’re very proud to be the first company to successfully implement this type of application in the UK – beating off the big boys like Starbucks and Caffè Nero.

“We’ve always recognised that innovation is a tool which will allow us to punch above our weight, which is essential for a small and entrepreneurial store like ourselves.”

Since making the app available via the iTunes store three weeks ago, 200 users have already downloaded it and more than 100 orders have been placed via the app.

The application was developed by Birmingham-based open source software developer Scott James Remnant, who is a regular Urban Coffee Company customer.

Mr Remnant said: “From the start, Urban has been used by people working in the digital and creative industries to meet offline to bounce ideas together – we’re all made to feel part of the family.

“Because of that collaborative spirit, I volunteered to build the iPhone app free of charge as a way to offer a little something back.

“It’s great to see customers now embracing it and using it daily to place orders.”

The second of Urban Coffee Company’s outlets is due to open in December this year, based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.