Bubble Tea Franchise vs. Coffee Franchise: What’s the Best Investment?

Thinking about opening a bubble tea franchise? Here’s why this niche business might not be the best idea, along with some alternative franchise ideas. 


Bubble tea, also known as boba tea, may have only recently popped onto your radar thanks to social media. Originating in Taiwan, the sweet cold drink has been around since the 1980’s in Asia and its popularity spread to Europe and the U.S., driven in large part by its social media ready appearance. The brightly colored blend of tea, milk or juice, and tapioca balls or pearls that sink to the bottom of a transparent plastic cup is served with an extra wide straw. Boba can be finnicky, so preparation is key to the appeal of the drink. Too soft and the balls will cling together in a mass. Too hard and the pearls will be too tough to chew. Drinkers describe the beverage as creamy and fruity with chewy sweet boba, pearls, or bubbles. There are many ways to have bubble tea, affecting the texture, appearance, and flavor. Black milk tea, Thai milk tea, taro milk tea, strawberry, brown sugar, and honeydew milk teas are all popular choices.  


A bubble tea franchise appeals to a niche market. The customer base for bubble tea is largely driven by youth. The boba tea customer is 36% children, 32% young adults ages 15-25, and just 32% of people over 25. Sales of bubble tea revolve around young people’s schedules with peak hours occurring after school and on weekends. To keep a steady stream of customers coming through your doors, you’ll need to offer some other types of food or beverages that appeal to a broader range of consumer. You’ll also need to frequently change your menu offerings to keep the attention of your young customers who are excited to post the vibrant looking drinks on social media. Locating your bubble tea franchise near schools, parks, and shopping and entertainment hubs will also be important for engaging young customers.  

Bubble tea is not a daily habit for most people like coffee or tea. The sugary drink can be high in calories, more like a meal than a beverage. A customer might be able to handle one boba tea a day but more likely it’s a weekly or monthly treat, rather than an everyday habit like a cup of brewed coffee. Bubble tea is pricier than a cup of brewed coffee, running around $5 or more; a medium cup of brewed coffee from a coffee and tea franchise like Scooter’s Coffee® will only set you back around $2.25 while their medium hot coffees like lattes and mochas are under $5. 


Coffee is the third most popular drink globally, with tea at #2. At Scooter’s Coffee, we happen to serve both. Coffee statistics show coffee is always in high demand. Better than any passing trend, 50% of U.S. adults want their daily coffee fix, consuming over three cups a day, per person.  

A versatile beverage, Scooter’s Coffee offers several ways to indulge in your coffee habit. We serve a fine cup of brewed coffee and classics like lattes, cappuccinos, Americanos, mochas, cold brews, espressos, and more. Plus, we serve social media post worthy seasonal classics, like Pumpkin Spice and Maple Vanilla lattes, and alternative milk options, appealing to a wide range of consumers all day, every day. 

Franchising since 1998 and continuing to grow, Scooter’s Coffee is not just another passing trend. We’re a rapidly growing drive-thru coffee franchise in the U.S., expanding 150% between 2019 and 2021. To learn more about our coffee and tea franchise opportunity, fill out this form and one of our representatives will be in touch.