drive thru- one way loop, or double sided?


New member
Oct 5, 2011
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We are think about expanding our operations and doing a drive thru coffee kiosk. 10'x20' or 10'x30'. All the other ones I have seen are set up so drivers can approach from either direction and order at both windows. Given that we would only have one espresso machine in the unit, it seems like it would be faster and more efficient if they ordered at one window, then drove around to the other window to pick up. When its busy, One barista is cranking out the drinks, cashier is taking orders, and if it is busy enough, a third person doing frappes and smoothies. When it is slow, drivers order and pick up at the "pick-up" window.
Another, more costly route would be to have a telecom system, like a regular fats food drive thru.
Does any one out there have experience with this set-up.
Thanks in advance for your help and opinions.


New member
Dec 7, 2012
Michigan, US
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I have seen many DT coffee shop and did many research but unless you are trying to service 100 people every hour, you won't lose too many people just drive up to the window and order coffee. It would nicer to have telecom but I never thought it was very important. I would still purchase Three head espresso machine just in case people decides to order 3 drinks in one car.

and 8x 20 is plenty of spaces for what you are trying to accomplish unless you are planning cooking inside.

Good luck


Active member
Aug 11, 2004
Des Moines, Iowa
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I don't like the idea of a 2 window facility. I try to regularly avoid places that have 2 windows, one for paying and the other for pickup. It looses a lot of the personal touch that pulling up to a single window and seeing the same person who takes your money who will then give you the product you're waiting on. When you pull to one window you tend to see the same person every day and you will be able to create a connection and that helps keep people like me coming back.

McDonalds and about every other fast food provider has lost this because they no longer care about personal connection they care only about keeping the flow steady and pumping customers out the drive through. I don't mind waiting a few minutes longer in my day to meet up at the window and say good morning to Tom, Dick, or Harry, its those little things that add up to create a better day for me. For me its about the quality of the service not the quantity and how fast I can get through the line.
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