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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    9

    Drive Thru building- Help!!!!

    We are starting our first of hopefully many drive thru espresso shops. I am down to a building. I am trying to determine what the most economical route to go is. Should I A) Have a local contractor build it? B) Get a prefab wood or steel structure? C) Or suggestions.........
    Please help!!!

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    26
    We are approaching the same dilemma. I'm leaning toward hiring a contractor to build it. Looks like it will be more cost effective. I would love to hear some input on this matter as well

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    16
    I went with Mountain Mudd, not always a popular choice on these forums. Probably more expensive than doing it yourself but I didn't want to reinvent the wheel.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas
    Posts
    8
    I'm assuming that you've already checked with the city building codes and state health codes to see what's allowed. That said, we went with a contractor. We ended up spending more than we would have liked for our first structure, then stayed within budget on our second. We didn't even consider the pre-fab ones, so I don't really have any opinion on that front.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    22
    Ozark B is right. The place to start are the local municipalities and state agencies.

    If you go the pre-fab route as we did, here are a few things to consider:
    (1) Will the city zoning & planning allow pre-fab structures?
    (2) What building codes does your city require a pre-fab structure to meet?
    (3) If you plan to have a restroom for employees, is it ADA compliant and ADA accessible?
    (4) Will the factory provide independent 3rd party inspection?
    (5) Will the factory help you get through the city planning issues?

    These were issuess major hurdles for us and put us about 4 months behind on opening our first location because the city was so strict. We couldn't even get a conditional permit until after the engineered drawings and architect stamped site plan was submitted. We learned a lot and now know how to navigate the system but it cost us valuable time.

    If you hire a contractor, you can avoid some of these issues. Well, I guess you don't avoid them completely. It's just that that the contractor handles it for you. Beware of budget issues and force the contractors to provide written bids to protect you and them.

    Good luck.

    Polo

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Seattle,Washington USA
    Posts
    874
    Good points made by all. One of the hardest things for start ups in the drive thru industry is knowing where to go and what information to obtain before building. Most of the time you don't think about all of the additional costs you will run across other than just the building, equipment, location, and coffee. That's why it's very important to sit down and pencil things out before you invest your first penny. Also keep in mind that if you do find a contractor, that person must be knowledgable about building espresso stands. That's why some prefabs may be a better way to go in the beginning, and once you purchase from them you should have the plans to build the next. There are a lot of other things to consider as well, but I just wanted to chime in my 2 cents
    "A Word of Difference"TM

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    9
    Thank you for all of the help and suggestions. My wife and I today visited with a lawyer who specializes in building transactions and city codes and is in fact on the city council of the suburb we are planning our first and hopefully second location in. He is currently drawing up a first recision agreement so that we can hopefully contact the prospective land owners and lock in the location. Has anyone had any luck with the prefab designs? Or, are we wasteing our time on that avenue? I want to keep the cost down and structurally sound so this is of great concern. Please let me know...Tboz

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    22
    In my humble opinion, if you are doing a drive-thru only, a pre-fab is probably a better. I would not have known what to ask a builder to make for me 9 months ago. Nor were there any builders here who had even built such a thing. Just do your homework on the company and make comparisons between a couple of different manufacturers. If might warrant a visit to the factory to see how they operate before making a purchase.

    Also, our city wanted our pre-fab to conform to ICB or ICBO codes in addition to having a certified 3rd party inspection. Not all manufacturers will guarantee this.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    16
    Mine had to be inspected by a third party as well. You could probalby do it cheaper yourself but you won't be selling much coffee if you can't get it permitted.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    1

    Drive thru stand

    I have been researching stands for awhile now and here is my 2 cents worth..

    You can have one built, but like people said it can add up quick and you need to have the design layed out for the contractor, but it might be cheaper then buying a prefab..

    I have seen alot of pre fabs for sale, but most of them cost bucks.. I have been writting to this guy on ebay that has a company that builds drive thru stands on the side. He had 3 stands for sale 8' x 20' on ebay and I think he sold 2 of them, but he also custom builds them for you. Some place in OR.. He has a few different standard options, but the nice thing is it comes on a trailer, so you can place it and hide the towing trailer with siding or something.. he has been selling them from the 15k to 19k range depending on which options you want..

    Do a search on ebay for espresso drive thru and you should find it. I am thinking about moving back to my home town and starting up a drive thru, but I have a lot to learn on the whole biz and my friends think going from high tech to a coffee biz owner is flat out crazy...

    Anyways, take a look on ebay, next I need to look into espresso machines, full auto or semi... I like the ECM machines if anyone has any feedback.. I have seen a bunch of group 3 machones on ebay for sale for really good prices vs new, but I just don't know whats good and whats not.

    Thanks,

    Owen
    Seattle, wa

 

 
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