Espresso / Coffee Drive-Thru
Drive-thrus are primarily a U.S. phenomena. If business
can be transacted from a vehicle, some sharp American entrepreneur
has found a way to do it. From oil changes, to car washes, fried
chicken to ice cream, drive-thrus are a substantial---if not the
dominantfactor in many successful businesses. Major fast food
corporations have revealed that some of their locations transact
as much as 75 percent of their business from a drive-thru window.
It only makes sense that the worlds most popular beverage
would eventually be sold in this fashion.
Convenience is not the only reason coffee drive-thru
businesses are successful. Usually these businesses offer a beverage
that is far superior to what you can brew at home or in the office.
Today, specialty coffee drive-thrus are not only accepted
by consumers, but embraced. If a drive-thru is situated in a good
location and operated with good business sense, it can be a viable,
profitable concept within the specialty coffee industry.
Cost of A Coffee Drive thru
The cost of starting a drive-thru varies. The average
cost is around $50,000, though it is not unusual to spend up to
$100,000 to $200,000. You will need capital for all your monthly
expenses until your coffee / espresso drive-thru business can service
Some of the typical costs include site development
(constructing a foundation, connecting your structure to public
utilities, landscaping, lighting, curb modifications, etc.), the
purchase or construction of the physical building, the coffee and
food-service equipment you will place inside the building, your
opening inventory, professional services, pre-opening labor, etc.
The start-up costs to establish your business may be significantly
higher if you plan to develop a raw piece of land (a dirt lot with
Check With Your Local Bureaucracy
There are a number of bureaucracies that may be involved
in the opening of your coffee shop / espresso drive-thru business.
Your local building department, health department, department of
transportation, business licensing bureau, sign commission, fire
marshal, and utility commission may all have something to say about
your proposed coffee / espresso drive-thru business.
A good place to start your research is with the building
department. Be direct with the officials here. Tell them you want
to open a coffee / espresso drive-thru and you want to know how
to do it. They will probably want to know where your location is,
even though you most likely wont have one at this point and
time. Thats okay. Tell them you are doing preliminary research
and are looking for basic information about codes, zoning, and requirements
and restrictions that might be applicable to your proposed coffee
/ espresso drive-thru business.
Weve found that is it not uncommon for a government
agency to require several weeks or months to review your plans before
it will issue a permit. Weve also had clients who have called
for inspections after they have completed their work, only to discover
it will be three weeks until the inspector can visit their site.
Knowing as much as you can about how the system works in advance
is helpful when submitting plans and scheduling inspections to coincide
with your work schedule. Ask if there are any provisions for speeding
up this process. Some agencies offer express service if you pay
an expediting fee.