How To Choose a Coffee Shop Location: What Matters Most

Scooter's Coffee Drive-Thru with American Flag

There’s a familiar saying in real estate that the three things that matter most when buying property are location, location, location. This is especially true if you are planning to open a business like a coffee shop. Choosing the right location will greatly impact how successful your business will be. Here are some of the things you need to consider before selecting a site for your coffee shop.

Your Target Market

If you are planning on serving college students, a location near a college or university makes sense.  If you are looking to target parents, you might want to open near elementary or middle schools so they can stop by for coffee after they drop off their children. If you live in a larger city with a business district, you may want to consider a location where you can catch people on their way to work. And a coffee shop in the quaint shopping district of a small town is the perfect place for people to stop and get a drink while out shopping.

The Competition

Before you choose a site, make sure there are no other coffee shops with locations close to where you want to build. You want to be far from other coffee franchises, as well as independent coffee houses. Consider other businesses that sell coffee as your competitors, including diners, bakeries, chain bookstores and grocery stores with coffee retailers inside, and even upscale gas station/convenience stores.

Neighboring Businesses

If they don’t serve coffee themselves, other business can help drive customers to your door. Patrons of independent bookstores and libraries are likely to bring their new book to a nearby coffee shop. Customers who are waiting for service at an auto repair shop will be happy to duck into the nearest coffee shop until their car is ready. And parents who regularly take their kids to the playground would love a coffee shop nearby.


If you plan on opening a coffee shop where people stay on site to enjoy their beverages, make sure there’s enough parking. Consider how easily drivers will be able to get to your coffee shop. A corner location with two entrances into the parking lot is optimal. Avoid locations that aren’t easily accessible from a main road, or where traffic backs up, making it difficult to get into, or out of, your parking lot.

Traffic Patterns

Another important thing to consider when you are thinking about how to choose a coffee shop location is the traffic in the area. If you plan on having a drive-thru to serve rush-hour drivers on their way to work, you’ll need to make sure enough cars pass by your location.

The Benefits of Franchising

If you open an independent coffee shop, the decision of where to locate rests on your shoulders alone. If you don’t already know how to choose a coffee shop location, it can be a steep – and costly – learning curve. But if you invest in a franchise like Scooter’s Coffee®, we know exactly what to look for. As soon as you sign your franchise agreement, we’ll meet with a real estate broker to begin the site selection process. Since Scooter’s Coffee drive-thru kiosks are small, the lot only needs to be between 2,000 and 5,000 square feet. But we also want our stores along a road popular with morning commuters, with a speed limit between 25 and 45 miles per hour.

Once we’ve found a location that meets our requirements, we will help you negotiate the terms of the lease and navigate the construction process, starting with permitting and hiring contractors.

Join the Scooter’s Coffee Family

If you’re interested in finding out more about how to choose a coffee shop location for a Scooter’s Coffee franchise of your own, get started by requesting franchise information today.