Data on when/where commuters buy coffee

Where do most commuters buy their morning coffee?

  • close to work

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • depends on available extra commute time

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


New member
Jul 30, 2004
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I am in the early stages of opening a drive-thru coffee business and have found several locations that meet my minimum drive-by traffic requirements. In speaking with a local businessman, he mentioned that he believed that most commuters would rather buy their coffee at a location closer to their work than closer to their home, since they are more confident that they have the spare time once they get closer to their workplace. My feeling was that the sooner (closer to home) a coffee freak got is morning caffeine fix, the better.

I have not seen any published data on this, but thought I'd throw it out as a topic of discussion for the forum.
I would say
depends on available extra commute time

If you're better than what the gas station has, they will try to "make time" to get coffee from you instead.
We closed down for 12 days to relocate to a larger facility. The customers couldn't wait for us to re-open!

People want their coffee first and foremost, in fact, 70-90% of coffee drinkers make theirs at home, hell, don't even talk to me until I have my second cup or you'll be asking for it, not eeevvveen going to discuss my attitude if I'm on the road without my caffine fix.

Close to home, as close to their walk to their car or right along the main road they normally take to hit the freeway. In a perfect world, having a cart in front of their door would be optimum,. When I lived in Seattle, I did espresso machine repair for a few of the local Cafe's, in a couple that had decent espresso and cute barristas, I'd opt to just trade my services for free joe any time, so normally either just before I hit my car, or right afterwards, would drop by one to get my java instead of making it at home. Now a days, there are no places like that, I don't have to commute to work since my shop is also at my house and beans are free due to the fact my brother owns a roaster.

Anyway, if you are going to set up close to work, better plan upon adding a lunch menu becuase by the time they hit their job, it's likely they've been espresso'd up and you are waiting at the lunch crowd.

There will be exceptions of course, but as a rule, as close to the beginning of the commute the better.
close to home

Close to home- definitely.

But, in an ideal situation it wouldn't be so bad to be somewhere near a large office building and a neighborhood.... You'd get the best of both worlds!

I like the shops that have books in them... to borrow or sell. I had a favorite that had used books available to browse through and all were available for resale at very low prices. It was a great way to get peopl ein to buy coffee and spend another $5 or so while inside.

Best of luck to you!
I'm close to opening up a drive-thru in a neighborhood that doesn't have a real high income, but the spot is on a major street with traffic count greater than 40,000 cars. I'll be located on the commute side of the street and commuters come through there from other surrounding cities and communities. The location is in a small lot in the middle of a block (good visibility) and is not in the parking lot of a shopping mall. I'm looking at the traffic count and counting on that to do my financial calculations (i.e. 0.5 - 1.0 % of traffic stopping). Should I be looking closer at the demographics of the local area?
ra2783 - Looks like your traffic numbers are good, but the neighborhood may be questionable. Most of your business is likely to come from "locals"...and if they can't afford it, business will be slow. I agree with the other posters that the closer you are located to the start of the commute, the better. How do you plan on getting the commuters from other areas to stop and buy from you? This is assuming they haven't already got their morning fix somewhere else that was closer to home.
I'm planning on sending post cards (2 for 1 coupon on back) locally and to those communities where the traffic is coming from. I'll have a street sign and am looking into some type of dress up character to stand on the sidewalk to help bring in traffic. I may try the "ValPak" advertising also. Any other suggestions? If the consensus is that people want to get coffee closer to home, should I concentrate my marketing more to the local area?
Good luck! :grin: I hope you are a success. Send me a PM and let me know where you are located and when you will be opening up. I'm not too far away from Dallas. 40,000 cars at 0.5% = 200 customers minimum. If this statistic is correct, you are bound to be successful despite the demographics of the local area. Once the locals see the cars lined up, they'll stop to see what all the fuss is all about!!

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