Drive thru locations - Help!

HVCoffee

New member
Mar 14, 2005
3
0
I've been reading the forum for several weeks now the info is great.

I am planning (or better hoping) to open some double drive thrus in new york. There is nothing like that around...(not even a starbucks).

the problem I am having is finding locations. I have contacted several local commercial realtors and either they don't get it, or are not interested in looking for a land lease for something so small.

Any ideas???

Thanks
steven
 

jsitz

New member
Dec 28, 2004
7
0
midwest
Wow. Drive thru coffee in NYC. I hope you are tough!

My experience finding a location in my midwestern city has been pretty challenging, and as a someone who lived in NYC for a few years I can only imagine what you are dealing with.

I'm not surprised to hear what the commercial realtors said. If you think about how they get paid this makes sense. They will make around 3% of the total value of the lease as a commission. So for example if you were to pay $1500 per month on a 5 year lease, they would make $2700. A bigger property will carry rents 5-10 times or more what you will be pay for your drive through, meaning a commission of $13,500-27,000. And they will have to work just as hard for the $2700 as for $27,000. Which would you choose?

So the previous post suggesting you find the landlords yourself may be a good route to go. This requires you to do all the legwork, walk into the building, ask someone who the LL is and for his phone number. Not hard, just time consuming and tedious.

I have also found that certain kinds of realtors can be helpful. 1) Find a junior person at one of the big companies who is trying to earn his/her stripes. Or 2) find an established broker at a smaller company. In either case, sell them on the fact that you are looking to do multiple locations so they know that if they do well for you, more may be coming. Keep as many irons in the fire as possible. Be persistent. In a market like New York, as shrewd as the real estate people are, you're going to need to be a freaking shark!

Hope that helps, and good luck! :twisted:
 

celement

New member
Apr 17, 2005
130
0
Modesto, CA
Hard Everywhere

Drive through locations are hard to find anywhere. I agree with the assessment you have to find it yourself....its hard, lots of miles on the car, but you just gotta get out and find em....

I'm in California, our city of 200k has 8 drive throughs plus 2 Starbuck drive throughs and 6 other starbucks. 2 new ones will open in the months ahead....and there is room for more, but I've been at it 8 months and can't seem to find a second spot.
 

Twitch

New member
Mar 9, 2005
28
0
Sacramento, CA
I'm looking in Sacramento, and it's TOUGH. Been looking for 2 months now, and commercial real estate agents suck.

I'm considering offering a "reward" to get someone to help me, so I don't have to quit my day job just to look.
 

celement

New member
Apr 17, 2005
130
0
Modesto, CA
Twitch said:
I'm looking in Sacramento, and it's TOUGH. Been looking for 2 months now, and commercial real estate agents suck.

I'm considering offering a "reward" to get someone to help me, so I don't have to quit my day job just to look.

Good luck with the real estate agent...I had one and then found out he brokered the deal for starbucks' newest drive through and never even told me had the spot listed....how's that for a good agent....
 

Twitch

New member
Mar 9, 2005
28
0
Sacramento, CA
That's because they'll make about $12,000 on a starbucks and they'll only make about $3,000 on a drive through. I figure if I offer someone $5,000 to help me find a location, that they may actually do some work for me.
 

Tam

New member
Mar 17, 2005
9
0
Minnesota
OK, I've found the perfect place for the drive-thru that I've always wanted... the bank's old drive-thru. Our city's largest bank just built a new/huge building and drive-up thingy.... leaving the old spot for sale. It has 3 drive-up spots and a walk-in area. It's off one of the main streets. It's especially convenient for commuters.

Now for the financing and business plan. Oh, and convincing my husband!

Tam
PS. Any ideas how we could send hot coffee through those tube things that go to the 2nd and 3rd spots?
 

celement

New member
Apr 17, 2005
130
0
Modesto, CA
Tam said:
OK, I've found the perfect place for the drive-thru that I've always wanted... the bank's old drive-thru. Our city's largest bank just built a new/huge building and drive-up thingy.... leaving the old spot for sale. It has 3 drive-up spots and a walk-in area. It's off one of the main streets. It's especially convenient for commuters.

Now for the financing and business plan. Oh, and convincing my husband!

Tam
PS. Any ideas how we could send hot coffee through those tube things that go to the 2nd and 3rd spots?

LOL when you figure that out let me know;

The bank building would be cool....run with it if you can...in California it seems like every new starbucks is sit down \ drive through combinations....they rock (and I hate them)
 

upnorthcoffee

New member
Mar 30, 2005
38
0
Minneapolis, MN
bank

Tam said:
PS. Any ideas how we could send hot coffee through those tube things that go to the 2nd and 3rd spots?

Hey Tam! Sounds like a nice place. What's the SF like? Can you really use all the space for your shop?

Wendy's converted a bank bldg. They tore off the 2nd-5th lanes of the drive through and just reconfigured the main window.
 
Last summer I went to Verizon.com (probably sub site superpages) and yahoo.com and got all the Starbucks locations and all the Dunkin Donuts and then every other coffee shop I could find. After cleaning the addresses I loaded them in MapPoint to get a visual reference of what kind of store was where.

Manhattan was owned by the green sea monster. The cimcumferencial boroughs were the territory of Dunkin Donuts. Independents were scattered all around.

Dunkin has a huge drive through business. If you want to fish where the fish are, you might take a clue from the businesses with >50 people in their real estate departments.

If you do decide to be a contrarian and put a drive through in NYC, keep in mind the higher real estate costs (plus whatever other higher costs you have in NYC) are going to require you to have much higher volume and/or higher prices than s drive through in St. Louis. I'm not sure how to pull off dramatically higher volume in a drive-through, even one with two windows.

Figure 2 minutes per transaction (order, take cash, make drink) and 2 windows. 1 drink per minute (smokin!) at $3 each. $180 per hour revenue at peak. If you run flat out for 8 hours, that's $1440 a day. If you run 365 days, that's $525,600 in revenue per year. Then take your costs out. Are you going to be able to sustain that rate? Can you charge more? What are your real estate costs going to be?

Beats flippin' burgers and moving at that rate, you would not need to diet.
 

Tam

New member
Mar 17, 2005
9
0
Minnesota
Re: bank

upnorthcoffee said:
Tam said:
PS. Any ideas how we could send hot coffee through those tube things that go to the 2nd and 3rd spots?

Hey Tam! Sounds like a nice place. What's the SF like? Can you really use all the space for your shop?

Wendy's converted a bank bldg. They tore off the 2nd-5th lanes of the drive through and just reconfigured the main window.


The building is about twice the size of those drive-thru joints I've seen on the internet. (about 12 ft x 25 ft) The walk in area is about 12 x 6. the back of the bulding has a small bathroom and mini "break room." It's on a corner lot with easy access to the side street and a main highway/ street. The good part is that a lot of development is planned for this part of town. The bad part is that this intersection is due for lots of road work this summer (you know MN!) I'm hoping no one else has the same idea that I have and the spot sits empty while I do my research and rob a couple of banks.
 

corvocacoffee

New member
Apr 29, 2005
1
0
Deptford, New Jersey
Drive-Thru Locations

To: HVCoffee

I feel your pain. Location searching for me in NJ and PA took six months and I had to do the searching myself. Landlords and real estate agents didn't help me or didn't get the concept. We finally got a location and then its dealing with the township who will probably not get it either. You have to be patient and ride the rollercoaster of good and bad days. Show them successful examples (pictures) and statistics. Just don't give up! We drafted our drive-thru 1.5 years ago and we are just opening this July.

If you want...take a look at my website at corvocacoffee.citymax.com. In a week the "citymax" will be removed from the address after I work out some of the errors. Its in draft form right now.

TJ
 

Twitch

New member
Mar 9, 2005
28
0
Sacramento, CA
Well, as for my sad tale... I just sent out about 20 emails to various commercail real estate folks offering a $5,000 reward if they help me sign a lease. I've got two that have gotten back to me so we'll see what happens from here. Meeting with one of them on Wednesday.
 

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
874
0
Seattle,Washington USA
Wow!!! This is a subject near and dear to my heart :p Most of you are right that most of the country still hasn't caught on to what drive thru espresso businesses are. But it's no ones fault, however, for those that can errect one, the investment usually pays off. Having patience is one of the biggest keys, and having a few bucks doesn't hurt either :twisted:

jsitz, if you are in New York, I might suggest that you contact Linda Smith, owner of Sip of Seattle Drive Thru in Binghamton, NY. She put one up a couple of years ago, and is doing pretty well today after doing all of the leg work herself, and she's beginning on her second location. Send me a pm and I'll be happy to give you a phone number.

I've spoken or have swapped emails with some of you here before, and I have to say that my hat goes off to those that have been trying and continue to try. Don't give up, keep trying different approaches. Nothing prepares you better than a few set backs, updating your research, and knocking on a lot of doors. Start your search at City Hall.
 
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