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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    3

    Part Time or Full Time (and other questions)

    Hi, I'm new to the forum, so I hope I don't do anything foolish.

    I am planning on opening a drive-thru and had some questions.

    1) Do most of you work in your shops full time, part time, or never. It seems that employees are the biggiest cost of a drive-thru, and the net profits (according to my rough calculations) are not large enough to support my family.

    2) Generally, what is your cost of sales, I have been hearing numbers from 20% to 35%. That just seems like such a big margin.

    3) If you opened a drive-thru, how did you estimate your sales? Is a realistic number 1% of traffic? (there are no drive thrus or even starbucks in the area).

    Thanks in advance
    steven

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    57
    I would just keep in mind that it takes a long time to make a profit when you start your own buisness especially when it comes to coffee. That's great that you don't have to much competition, but that does not guarentee a successful buisness. I don't mean to be negative but its good to look at all sides. Do you have experience in the industry?

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by NordstromCoffee
    I would just keep in mind that it takes a long time to make a profit when you start your own buisness especially when it comes to coffee. That's great that you don't have to much competition, but that does not guarentee a successful buisness. I don't mean to be negative but its good to look at all sides. Do you have experience in the industry?
    Thanks for responding!

    I don't have any experience in the coffee business, but I have started other non-related business' that have done well. I have been doing a ton of research and would use a consultant to help.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Kamuela, Hawaii USA
    Posts
    603
    HV is right here, it is much easier to teach someone how to make coffee than it is to teach them how to make money. From tuck drivers to preachers and business executives to pilots, those customers whose businesses I have seen thrive over the past years all have only one thing in common, a sharp business acumen.

    The label "experience" is misplaced on a lot of things in the retail coffee industry, but I believe most inappropriately on what is truly "history" and "seniority." Ethiopia is arguably the origin of man's history with coffee; now there's some REAL coffee experience - that's why they dominate the market.

    Now, back to your questions:

    1) Being financially independent would certainly help; you may just be right with your calculations as it can be extremely difficult to support yourself solely on your new venture depending on your financial requirements. Each situation is of course different, but my recommendation is that you favor your own presence at the site in your calculations until you are able to develop a full time manager when the business is self-sustaining. I always favor being closely involved in my investments.

    2) Yep. Cool, eh?

    3) I recommend that you develop 5 scenarios between .2% and 2% capture rate and develop your action plan for each. The 1% figure is certainly reasonable, but you should prepare for the extremes based on your effectiveness in execution and any of a number of real-world factors, such as the competition you mentioned.

    Keep up with that planning and you'll be in fine shape, since otherwise your planning will indicate that you should not start the business in the first place. Isn't it nice how that works?

    Best of success,

    Andrew
    Andrew Hetzel
    Managing Director
    Cafemakers, LLC

    See me at the Specialty Coffee Association of America annual conference and exposition April 16-18 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Seattle,Washington USA
    Posts
    874
    CM...I have no idea what you just said NC... don't paint such a gloomy picture And HV... the bottom line is, do you truly want to do a drive thru, or are you just thinking about it? That is where your answer lies. You are correct you should find a good qualified consultant, especially when you are in this phase. A full-service minded consultant can work with you from the very beginning and save you both time and money on the entire project, thereby answering all of the questions you are asking here.

    Just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents
    "A Word of Difference"TM

 

 

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