How to Start A Coffee Kiosk: Coffee Business

A Scooter's coffee drive-thru coffee kiosk.

Coffee flows from barista to consumer in a variety of ways and settings, including coffee shops, coffee stands, and coffee kiosks.

Each serves a great cup of coffee and a purpose for both consumers and operators.

Benefits of a Drive-Thru Coffee Kiosk

A major advantage a drive-thru coffee kiosk has over a purely sit-down coffee shop is that the kiosk can serve more customers.

For customers, a full coffee shop can be a gathering place and a spot to hang out, while a coffee kiosk can be a convenient way for people on the go to grab a cup. For entrepreneurs, a kiosk is also an amazing opportunity to enter the coffee world at a low investment.

A Statista report found that drive-thru coffee orders have increased over the past five years and that 46 percent of people bought coffee at a drive-thru the day before.

Consumers commuting to and from work or running errands want an amazing cup of coffee at arm’s reach.

Lower Costs

The costs are generally lower to open a kiosk.

The real estate investment is significantly lower for a drive-thru than for a traditional coffee shop because a kiosk simply doesn’t require as big a footprint as a coffee shop. The kiosk also doesn’t need to be embedded in an expensive, trendy neighborhood to capture foot traffic; it need only be easy to access and visible, in an area with the right demographics.

A drive-thru coffee kiosk needs fewer employees than a coffee shop, reducing labor costs dramatically. Interior decor and furnishing costs are non-existent in a kiosk. And even less equipment may be necessary than in a coffee shop, depending on the menu.

Scooter’s Coffee’s® more than 300 locations include both models, a coffee shop and a drive-thru kiosk. Each offers outstanding opportunities for entrepreneurs, according to a report by QSR. The investment to open a Scooter’s Coffee ranges from $381,000 to $587,000, depending on the model, and includes the franchise fee of $40,000.

A kiosk concept also can lend itself to scalability for multi-unit franchising. Customers become familiar with the brand and rely on the sameness of each unit’s ability to give them the amazing coffee they want.

How to Get Started

If you choose to buy into a franchise brand, you essentially can skip this section, because the company will have a system in place to get you rolling.

But, if you are opening an independent kiosk, you have a lot of homework to do. First, decide what your level of offering will be. Will your drive-thru coffee kiosk offer sophisticated drinks or just basic coffee? Will you offer baked goods or other foods?

Analyze the market. Who are your competitors, where are they, and what do they offer? How will your business be organized, managed, and staffed? How will you handle marketing? What about funding and financial projections.

Where will your kiosk be located, and why?

These considerations and a number of others will go into your business plan.

As for opening the kiosk itself, you can borrow from a lot of the advice for opening a coffee shop.

The Rewards

Because of the lower costs of launching and operating a coffee kiosk, along with the higher volume a kiosk can serve, the potential profit margins look very good.

For example, a Scooter’s Coffee kiosk can bring in an average unit volume of $761,277 annually, with a 26.3 percent net profit margin. Labor cost for a kiosk typically runs an average of 21.6 percent. Owners of Scooter’s Coffee saw an average of 11.62 percent year-over-year growth from 2018 to 2019.

All in all, a drive-thru coffee franchise makes a lot of good sense for entrepreneurs entering the coffee market.

Scooter’s Coffee has been serving up delicious coffee, tasty treats, and genuine smiles since 1998. Visit today to learn more about joining the Scooter’s team and making your dreams a reality.