Coffee Business Opportunities: Four Money-Making Java Industry Ideas

Scooter's Drive Thru Blue Car

Few products provide the combination of necessity and joy quite like coffee. On one hand, it’s part of the daily routine for so many Americans. On the other, it’s a favorite drink for countless people. Because of both of those factors, nearly two-thirds of American adults drink coffee every day.

A growing number of entrepreneurs are finding ways to turn coffee passion into profit. Unfortunately, the viability of independent coffee shops and cafes is dwindling. About half of small businesses like those fail to make it past the first five years, and coffee shops are often on the wrong side of that statistic because of their profit margins. However, that doesn’t mean every coffee shop is doomed to fail — especially those with new ideas.

As consumer habits change, business owners get more creative. With such a crowded market in the coffee industry, entrepreneurs have no choice but to think outside the mug. For those hoping to jump into the caffeine game, here are some different coffee business opportunities to succeed outside the usual path of opening a café.

What Should I Look For In Coffee Business Opportunities?

As with any business venture, it’s important to do in-depth research to make sure your concept is both interesting and practical. You should have a clear understanding of the market you want to enter. Whether you’re opening a physical or online store, figure out the competition and what that means for traffic, pricing, or products you can offer. Ultimately, you’ll need to find a model that is affordable to run while maintaining your ability to drive a profit.

Luckily, there are several coffee shop opportunities with those characteristics.


Coffee Shop Concepts

While many entrepreneurs entering the coffee industry envision a sit-down coffee shop, there are plenty of other ways to serve the caffeine habits of your customer base. Here are four different, successful coffee business opportunities to consider.

Coffee Kiosk or Stand

Minimizing overhead is essential for any business, and operating a small coffee kiosk can dramatically reduce the amount of operating space — therefore reducing your rent and utilities — needed to serve your drinks. Whether opting for a location with small square footage or even something as small as a coffee stand, you should determine the menu you can offer with your limited space. Location is also essential, so consider finding somewhere with a lot of foot traffic, such as busy shopping centers or even partnerships with busy stores.


As if online shopping needed a bigger boost, the past year’s events further emphasized the growth of this sector. While you might not be serving drinks, there are several ways you can join the coffee industry with an online-only business.

At-home coffee hit a record high in 2020, as 85 percent of coffee drinkers say they drank coffee at home, and more than a quarter say they’ve tried to replicate their favorite coffee shop drinks at home. There are certainly opportunities to reach coffee lovers without welcoming them into a physical space. That might mean selling your own coffee beans or curating your favorites for others on a subscription basis. You might also create other specialty items, such as distinct flavorings or products like customized mugs. One of the largest benefits of the internet is your ability to get creative!

Add a Drive-Thru

For those set on the idea of a coffee shop, there are plenty of ways to increase your chances for success. One of the most beneficial additions to your shop, if possible, would be a drive-thru option. Though this is dependent on your location and traffic patterns, the advantages of drive-thru continue to shine as customers increasingly opt for coffee as part of their morning commute. So, while you may enjoy the community aspect of a sit-down coffee shop, consider finding a way to serve those on the go as well!


Survey findings among coffee business owners say that they believe, anecdotally, the lack of a distinct brand and lack of business acumen are two of the most common reasons for independent coffee shops failing. While business skill is still crucial to success in any venture, franchising offers remedies for both concerns.

Investing in a franchise not only provides the opportunity to build on the strength of a known brand it also offers a built-in system of operations that might help address certain gaps in a business owner’s experience. It’s vital that prospective franchisees find the right situation for them — both financially and culturally.


Scooter’s Coffee

It’s rare for a business to combine so many of the characteristics that make those concepts so strong, but that is why Scooter’s Coffee® is such a great coffee franchise opportunity. Not only is the brand one of the nation’s fastest-growing coffee concepts but basing their franchise model on drive-thru kiosks has proven to be a success before and during the challenges of 2020. Scooter’s Coffee is very much expected to continue providing customers value for years to come.

Learn more about the advantages franchising with Scooter’s Coffee can provide in your journey to success in the coffee industry!