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Coffee Truck Franchise vs. Brick-and-Mortar: 2021 Outlook

Scooter's building with smiling employees

Do you want to start your own coffee business? If opening a coffee business is something you’re interested in, then you’ve already looked at a number of coffee shop business models.

That means you have probably considered a coffee truck franchise. You may have wondered how it compares to a brick and mortar establishment.

There are a lot of things to consider when comparing types of coffee shops. You need to look at your startup costs, overhead, and scalability for the future, among other things.

Here are a few things you need to consider when choosing between a coffee truck franchise and a brick and mortar coffee shop, and how things are looking for each of these models in 2021.

What are Startup Costs for a Coffee Truck Franchise?

One of the first reasons why you may be considering a coffee truck franchise is hoping for lower startup costs. You may assume that because you don’t have a set location that you don’t have to pay rent. This is only half true.

When you run a coffee truck, it’s true that you don’t have to pay rent on a physical location. However, you will likely have payments on your coffee truck. They may not be as much as rent, but they’re definitely something to take into account.

And while you won’t be dealing with monthly bills like water and electricity, you’ll still need to pay for gas and upkeep to keep your coffee truck franchise rolling. Consider the long game when comparing startup costs and decide which investment makes sense for you in the long run.

Consider Scalability for Your Coffee Truck

When it comes to deciding the right type of coffee franchise for you, it’s important to think about scalability. Obviously, your goal as a business owner is to be successful, but have you planned on how to handle your business once you have reached that success?

You need to know if your location can handle the capacity necessary when things starting booming. As a coffee truck franchise or food truck, your capacity will be limited by how much space you have and how fast you can work. When orders at the window are your only method of service, you may be surprised by how long lines can get.

By comparison, a drive-thru coffee shop can quickly and efficiently move people through the line while providing the same great product and service that people expect. In fact, the average wait time at a Scooter’s Coffee drive-thru coffee kiosk is only 40 seconds!

Carefully think about the amount of business you expect to bring in and how you plan to serve all those customers. There are few things worse than turning away business because you don’t have the capacity for it.

Drive-Thru is Big and is Ready for a Banner 2021

Businesses have quickly adapted to new service models during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even when things return to a “new normal,” many of these adjustments are going to be around for a while.

Chief among these models is the importance of the drive-thru coffee shop model. Drive-thrus have been crucial in helping to keep restaurants afloat while also maintaining social distancing. As social distancing becomes the norm for the foreseeable future, a reliable option for contactless service makes a big difference for your business.

This is why drive-thru capability is another crucial consideration for your coffee truck franchise versus a brick and mortar store. As a food truck, you may serve orders through a window, but people can’t necessarily pull their cars up to your coffee truck franchise. Coffee trucks often must be set up in a parking spot or another open space where customers line up.

Even though their locations remain in one place, a drive thru coffee shop can often be more convenient for people on the go than a coffee truck franchise. Take a long look at your customer base and think about which customers you see most often. Are you getting more foot traffic, or would it help to expand your audience to cars as well?

Major franchises are banking big on drive-thru service for 2021, meaning you should give it some serious thought when you decide to invest.

Mobile Service and Delivery Will Be Big in 2021

Just as drive-thru service has seen a surge in popularity as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, delivery has also gotten a big boost. Yahoo! Finance reports that delivery has been 300 times more popular than it usually is.

Touchless and contactless service have become key to the way people do business. At the same time, the ability to bring products and services to the homes of people who are immunocompromised or uncomfortable visiting a store has been vital for both businesses and customers.

The problem with the delivery model is ensuring you have the resources to meet capacity and make it feasible for your business. While coffee truck franchises may be mobile, there’s a good chance you’re only dealing with your main coffee truck. You likely don’t have a team of delivery drivers carting your goods all over town.

Those trucks take a lot of gas, with the worst gas-guzzling food trucks only getting 10 miles per gallon. Delivering small ticket coffee orders across your town or city can add up fast.

Even though food trucks may be mobile, delivery isn’t always realistic. While delivery may be poised for a big year in 2021, it’s not a given that a food truck can necessarily meet that demand.

Consider your market carefully, and decide if you have the gas and the time to deliver your products and still make a profit.

Partner with Scooter’s Coffee to Stay Ahead of the Game

At the end of the day, only you can decide which business model works best for you and your vision of business ownership. Whether you choose a coffee truck franchise or a brick and mortar store, you should now have a better idea of what the future holds for each.

Looking for a coffee shop business opportunity prepared for the future? A Scooter’s Coffee drive-thru coffee kiosk is already designed to deliver amazing drinks to customers amazingly fast.

Thanks to the way it has perfected drive-thru coffee service, Scooter’s Coffee has come out of coronavirus on top and is well-prepared for the future. Learn how you can get started with your Scooter’s Coffee franchise today!

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