Drive-thru in Florida

coolbeans

New member
Apr 29, 2004
3
0
We are currently in the process of moving to (the Gulf side) Florida. We recently went there to scoop out the possibility of opening a drive- thru coffee shop. We got mixed signals whether this idea will fly there. We were bluntly told that people in this city (pop. 500,000) like their coffee from Dunkin Donuts and 7-Eleven and would not pay for specialty coffee.
We do know that *$'s in currently in the process of opening there.
Has anyone else had this kind of feedback when researching a location?

Thanks alatte! :)
 

reighn110102

New member
May 8, 2004
3
0
texas
drive-thru

We are kind of in the same situation. We moved to texas, pop. 70,000, so quite a bit less than your area, but some people have told us the same thing. There is no other drive-thru and Starbucks just opened a store. We are starting to build next week, so regardless if people want it or not they will have a drive-thru espresso. We have also had people who tell us that it is a great idea, hopefully they are right. I think people everywhere will pay for specialty coffee. I wish you the best!

Kristie
 

ldockall

New member
May 27, 2004
16
0
It seems if there's not already a Starbucks open in the area, there will be an educational process for the consumers. Even if you don't like Starbucks, you have to thank them for making the average person aware of what specialty coffee is about. If you can get folks to try your drinks (free/discounted coupons, etc.) they'll choose you over the convenience store goop.

Kristie,

What part of Texas are you in? I'm in the process of opening a drive-thru in Waco.

Larry
 

reighn110102

New member
May 8, 2004
3
0
texas
Hi,

I am actually in Galveston. I was wondering if you had to have an ada bathroom or were you able to do without one. The state told us we had to have one, but I went to a drive-thru in fairfield, tx and he did not have to have an ada bathroom and said no one had even said anything about it. Also curious about what kind of syrups you will use, it seems there is not that big of a selection to get from distributors around here?

Thank you,
Kristie
 

ldockall

New member
May 27, 2004
16
0
Wow, looks like you guys are getting pounded with rain today. I'm in Houston, pretty nasty here too. I think Galveston would be a great location, especially for cold drinks. I know the Starbucks on The Strand seemed to be pretty busy when I was there a few months ago. Are you going to be in that area or on the seawall?

I'm opening a Mountain Mudd so all of my supplies will be coming from them. I don't have a bathroom either. The only thing the city required was a letter stating that I had access to a restroom for employees signed by another tenant in the strip center.

Larry
 

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
874
0
Seattle,Washington USA
Well briefly, if Starbucks is opening up in the area, you can bet that some activity will begin to boom sometime shortyly. So you can bet that whoever said that a drive thru would not work has no idea about this business. Believe me Starbucks does not go into something with the idea that its a waste of money. I day that if you can get a toe hold somewhere first where you've done your homework, then get there first. Texas seems to be booming lately with lots of opportunities for the drive thru business. When it comes to putting up a drive thru be sure to do your home work, and make sure you have a nice looking location. What's the point in putting up something that you, yourself would not go to. There is no comparison with 7-11 and Dunkin Donuts coffee over a good coffee prepared by a well trained barista at a local drive thru.
 
OP
C

coolbeans

New member
Apr 29, 2004
3
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
Thank you so much for your feedback. I agree that if *$'s is coming in there is/will be a demand.
Good luck to all of you currently in the process of opening!!!

I have been looking into a waterless bathroom. Here is their website http://www.envirolet.com/

Please be sure and come back and let us know how things are going.
 

melisamorris

New member
Aug 5, 2004
3
0
DeBary, FL
Cool Beans...

I am in Central Florida. I'm curious what part of the Gulf Coast you are considering. There are areas that are more populated by older retirees and that could be the problem. However, Tampa is a very "hip" and young town in my opinion so I would be amazed if there was really that kind of attitude towards the price of a good cup of coffee/specialty drink there. If you are looking into Venice, Sanibel, or possibly even Clearwater, I may be able to understand the issue. You might want to check out the demographics of the particular area if you haven't already.

Just a thought...
 

OzarkB

New member
Sep 8, 2004
8
0
Northwest Arkansas
We are about a year into a similar venture in NW Arkansas (Bentonville). My husband and I moved here from Seattle about a year ago, and opened two drive-thrus. After almost nine months, the first one seems to have passed a hurdle and is consistently doing well. Our second location is only two months old, and it is the same battle all over again to build up a customer base.

Lots of nay-sayers told us that people in Arkansas wouldn't go for gourmet coffee and espresso, but we've been pleasantly surprised by the uptake here. We're near Wal-Mart corporate HQ, so there are tons of transplants from big cities. We knew they'd be thrilled to see a drive-thru espresso (we were the first), and they were. There were also plenty of locals who had seen drive-thru espresso in other parts of the country, and were glad to finally have one in their own backyard.

My advice to you is to do your homework. Get traffic numbers from the city and make sure your location could survive by pulling 1% of that traffic in every day. Also, research the surrounding demographics. Are there lots of office parks/schools/affluent neighborhoods near your store? If it's all blue collar/low income, you may want to reconsider.

There will be PLENTY of people telling you that your business/location stinks. If you're confident in the choice you've made, then go for it. However, even with everything going your way, be prepared for a lot of hard work! You will literally be building your business one customer at a time. Starbucks just opened up their first stand-alone store here, and I agree with what another post said regarding "the big green monster." Starbucks should help you by doing the heavy lifting in terms of customer education and gourmet coffee awareness.

I could ramble forever about what I've learned in the past year, but I hope these few thoughts are helpful.

Best of luck to you!!
 
Top