New drive thru in Texas

janetgaddy

New member
Dec 15, 2005
4
0
I would be very interested in getting some kind of breakdown of potential profits that can be attained with a drive thru stand. Some preliminary numbers for this little town are as follows:
11,000 cars go thru the town per day.
Assuming a 1% penetration rate, that puts the stand capable of delivering
110 cups of something a day. Im a bit inexperienced in knowing what basic profit 110 cups of anything will yield. I know I am asking for ball park figures, but I was just curious.

Thanks for all your help.
 

jerry

New member
Nov 18, 2004
5
0
TX
Most studies show a need of at least 25,000 to 35,000 per day traffic and 1/2% would be a good draw. These are numbers from several sources. The numbers to get started range around $35,000 to $50,000 for a small drive- thru only. You will also need to figure in two people working at any of the busy times. Hope this helps, just info I have picked up. Need to do a lot of serious investagating for yourself. Good Luck
 

susansaddiction

New member
Jun 29, 2004
49
0
potential profit

I totally agree with the previous post - been open about 15 months now and my official traffic count per day is 25,000. My daily "take" on that traffic is about .35 - .45%. Preface that with the fact that we FINALLY got our roadside signage at the strip mall that I'm in (drive thru only) about 10 days ago. I think that the new signage with an LCD screen to advertise my drinks etc. will affect sales from mid-day on.
I'd really think twice about putting a drive thru in where the traffic count is just 11,000 per day....
Susan
 

BilgeMud

New member
Jan 18, 2006
31
0
What about the 1%-2% claims of Consultants and franchises?

Thank you very much for the feedback from people actually out there working the drive thru startups.
I have been building my business plan based on the numbers I read on franchise and consultants websites of 1% to 2% of the traffic count being considered the norm for resulting in drink orders.
If .5% or .35% is all that I can look forward to then it is time to reconsider. I am looking at locating on an intersection between a major road (44,000 daily traffic) and a frontage road to the Highway (25,000 but major entrance to freeway. Still, the lease in a strip mall would cost me $2800/month and if all that I could expect is .35%... that is only 241 cups per day.
Although I really want to pursue this with a passion, I do not know if it is worthwhile to give up $70,000 for the chance to go broke. Someone please help turn me around on this. I want to believe that a drive thru business can and will be successful in Texas. The response from those selling drive thrus is "then you need to buy more than one kiosk". Before I can consider mutliple units, I want to make sure that a single unit can do decent profits without all the hooplah from third parties with vested interest in selling drive thru kiosks, equipment, or consultancy.
So those of you that are doing it, thank you for providing feedback to those of us that are considering it.
 

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
874
0
Seattle,Washington USA
There are a lot of people that collect information until they are blue in the face. Then what? I hate to sound so senical, but you can continue to collect all of the information you want but do nothing with it. There is no magic spell to cast, nor are there any absolute answers when it comes to opening any business. The only thing for sure is that there are risks involved in opening and operating any business, rather it be an espresso drive thru or selling Avon. You just have to step up to the plate if you feel deep in your gut that you are ready to take the risk. Research, numbers, senarios, opinions, and the like can not prepare you for the actual start of things. There are dreamers, there are doers, then there are those that dream and do. I hate to sound so negative, and I apologize if I hurt any feelings but I see this particular question or one like it come up in these forums way too often. Business is risky, if you spend the time to pencil things out and it makes sense, then give it a try. If it does not pencil out, then you are not ready.

This business can be a great money maker if you find a great location, if you are willing to work it yourself intitially, if you are disciplined, if you are creative, and most importantly if you are willing to learn from your mistakes and capitalize on them.

Sorry for venting, but sometimes I just have to be honest in my observations... :x
 

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
874
0
Seattle,Washington USA
Hey FrothGadget:

I apologize for being so stern, and forgive me to those I may have turned off with my previous remarks. I must have had a bad day and I felt the need to vent :oops: Sometimes I get like that. Maybe this wasn't the place to display such a bombmastic view. I'll try to be kinder and gentler in the future :wink:
 

freshroast

New member
Feb 7, 2006
62
0
Gig Harbor, WA
This is my personal opinion I would stick with the $70.000 a year job if you work under 12 hours a day at that job. I know with a retail business and or restaurant business a owner will work some long hours for months till the business is running smooth and you can have more help in the store so you don't have to work so many hours. Potential to make more than $70,000 profit is there but very hard work. You really have to have a passion for this business to keep you going those long hours in the beginning. I know it is a tough decision to make when you have a good paying job right now to go to the unknown!!
 

BilgeMud

New member
Jan 18, 2006
31
0
Thanks for the straight scoop

Thanks FreshRoast for the straight scoop.

While I know that everything that you are saying is correct there is something nagging at me saying do it do it do it.

I have realtors actually approaching me now to locate my structure on their pad site. All locations are on the intersection of the Gulf Freeway Frontage Road (200k traffic count on Freeway) and major intersection (57k cross street).

But there have been a few drive thru espressos locally that have opened and failed. But Starbucks has moved in and wherever they have a drive thru there is a line.
 

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
874
0
Seattle,Washington USA
Hey B.M.:

With those traffic counts especially if you are on the am side of the street for commuter traffic, I'd say it's worth giving it a shot. Those are GREAT numbers! But I wouldn't wait too long to make the decision. If you don't take advantage of this location some one else will.
 

freshroast

New member
Feb 7, 2006
62
0
Gig Harbor, WA
Coffee Guy said:
Hey B.M.:

With those traffic counts especially if you are on the am side of the street for commuter traffic, I'd say it's worth giving it a shot. Those are GREAT numbers! But I wouldn't wait too long to make the decision. If you don't take advantage of this location some one else will.

Like CG said above if the location your looking at is on the A.M. side of the street with easy access I would not wait long or someone else will jump on that spot. The other locations that failed...what did they possibly do wrong? Location was not good, product was not good and consistant...friendly? Did you go to the stands that were set up and what vibe did you get from them. Look of the drive thru...appealing and clean?
 

BilgeMud

New member
Jan 18, 2006
31
0
Failure of other two

with the failure of the two drive thrus, definitely location was not optimum in both instances, lack of signage, and lack of marketing/ advertising. In addition, there was no clear definition of who they were or what they were about.

Mine will be on the inbound/commuter side of the street and at the intersection. I am trying to firm up an agreement with a Realty firm using 24 parking spaces in the strip mall as the alotted displacement. My awning will hide the fact that it is a trailer and be used for signage.

If I can get the lease terms under $2000, I will try to go with a 24 month lease. The other benefit is this strip mall is in a different county which is far more liberal than Harris County.
 

Mocha Psyc

New member
Feb 18, 2006
16
0
Over the Rainbow
As a Houston resident and frequent traveller on 45, 610, 10, 288, yada yada you name it ... let me toss my two cents in here. If the site you have picked out does not have a easy off and on ramp then you will never get anyone to pull off the freeway for a cup of coffee (unless it's a Katrina evacuation and then all bets are off). So, the traffic count on the freeway is not something you can pull from - only the drive by traffic on the service road next to the strip center.

Unless your business model is quite a bit different than mine, you're gonna need more than 210 cups of coffee a day to turn a good profit.
 

BilgeMud

New member
Jan 18, 2006
31
0
SE Houston

Mocha Psyc,

One of the areas is 518 and 45 at the Academy Shopping Plaza. I have been speaking with the realtors there. This is the only non-Harris County location.

Otherwise, I was speaking with some realtors about a Nasa Rd1 and 45 Strip Mall and a Bay Area Blvd and 45 strip mall, each on the commuter side.
My business model is probably similar to you as 225 per day is about the break even.
Whereabouts in Texas are you?

Email me. nealis1@sbcglobal.net
 

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