drive thru or cafe

ccscooter

New member
Jan 21, 2007
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want to get in the coffee biz, can''t decide on whether to open a dual drive-thru or a cafe. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks,
ccscoot
 

psycho supreme

New member
Jan 6, 2007
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it also depends on the kind of people you want to reach too, the drive thru you will get the kind of people who "just want coffee in the morning to get them going", but with a cafe you can reach those and coffee lovers.

Just my 2cents though.
 
OP
C

ccscooter

New member
Jan 21, 2007
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  • Thread Starter
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I have thought about trying to find an end unit to lease in order to have a cafe/drive-thru all in one. But, I am afraid that I might be biting off more than I can chew. Is this your suggestion? I'm just trying to figure out which one is going to bring me more profit. I was leaning more toward a 10x30 dual drive thru, thinking I could make more money there rather than in a cafe, correct me if I am wrong. Any more input will be greatly appreciated.

thanks again,
ccscoot
 

Jackson

New member
Aug 22, 2006
108
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Columbus, OH
I think you need to create a business plan first. An in-house concept is one business, and a drive-thru is another business. If you do not have much experience in either concept, I recommend leasing an end-cap. Start out as either a drive-thru or a cafe alone. If you can establish yourself as a coffee drink destination, you may be ready for the next level of business.
The problem with most independent's that have cafe and drive-thru is they do not execute service in a pro-active way. They use one espresso machine for both concepts, and use one or two baristas for both concepts.
If you build a cafe, and eventually utilize every seat and every parking space during peak times, and consistently have patrons waiting for a vacant seat, you may be ready for a drive-thru.

Remember that the most expensive overhead item in your business will be labor. If you offer drive-thru and cafe seating, and you plan on executing service as well as the chains do, your labor may almost double.

When doing your business plan, put all of your eggs in one basket. If a location requires cafe seating and drive-thru business to break even, the location probably is not the best one for you.
 

cafemakers

New member
Nov 3, 2004
576
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Jackson said:
I think you need to create a business plan first. An in-house concept is one business, and a drive-thru is another business. If you do not have much experience in either concept, I recommend leasing an end-cap. Start out as either a drive-thru or a cafe alone. If you can establish yourself as a coffee drink destination, you may be ready for the next level of business.
The problem with most independent's that have cafe and drive-thru is they do not execute service in a pro-active way. They use one espresso machine for both concepts, and use one or two baristas for both concepts.
If you build a cafe, and eventually utilize every seat and every parking space during peak times, and consistently have patrons waiting for a vacant seat, you may be ready for a drive-thru.

Remember that the most expensive overhead item in your business will be labor. If you offer drive-thru and cafe seating, and you plan on executing service as well as the chains do, your labor may almost double.

When doing your business plan, put all of your eggs in one basket. If a location requires cafe seating and drive-thru business to break even, the location probably is not the best one for you.

Well said.
 

coffeeken

New member
Jan 26, 2007
5
0
Texas
The decision to go cafe or drive through in our case has been based upon what our financial goals were. In our travels throughout 45 states in the U.S., the most successful coffee houses had both dining and drive thru, which is now our model moving forward. Location is important, but so is having the capital upfront to build your business. It will take time regardless of what model you go with. However, every owner I met with that had a drive thru, after not having one, swears they would not do a coffee shop again without a drive thru. I equate it to having a big tool box or a big toolbox to make sure you everything you need to accomplish the task. I agree, labor is the concern, but allow yourself ampe capital for the first 12 months and overspend on the labor or at least until you get a feel for the ebb and flow of your customer base.
 
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