How to Open a Sustainable Coffee Shop: What Matters Most

Coffee sustainability might not be the first thing you think about when choosing to open a coffee shop, but it might be the most important. Here’s why it matters.


Now more than ever, consumers are concerned about brands’ sustainability efforts and their commitment to preserving the environment. A recent study by retail inventory tech company Sensormatic solutions shows that 81% of survey respondents said they were either “concerned” or “very concerned” about sustainability and the planet’s future.

The study also revealed that 80% of consumers consider sustainability of either a product, retailer, or brand when making purchasing decisions. In fact, 54% of consumers research a brand’s sustainability efforts. In short, if it matters to consumers, it needs to matter to business owners. As you consider opening a sustainable coffee shop, it’ll be important to properly advertise your initiatives to encourage consumers to try your brand and product.


In short, coffee sustainability is when coffee beans are grown and harvested in a way that conserves the environment and provides farmers with better incomes. Having recently become a trend due to the evolving concern around the planet’s climate, more big-name coffee brands like Starbucks, Dunkin’ and Scooter’s Coffee® have all prioritized using ethically sourced coffee in their locations.

At Scooter’s Coffee, our core values – integrity, love, humility, and courage – are at the forefront of everything we do. And that includes where and how we source our coffee beans. We’ve made it an integral part of our business practice to nourish relationships with our farmers. Through personal visits, direct trade, and mutual respect, we’ve cultivated partnerships with family farms all over the world to grow our specialty grade coffee beans.


As you research ways to start your own sustainable coffee shop, you’ll want to understand some best practices to being a truly sustainable business. See below for tactics you can use to run a more sustainable coffee business.

  • Use biodegradable cups, containers, and utensils: Oftentimes these types of materials cannot be recycled after use. Using compostable cups, containers, and utensils reduces your carbon footprint while still allowing customers to take their items to go if they’re on the move.
  • Reduce food waste: If you find that you have a lot of pastries left over at the end of the day, try to prepare less for the next day. You also have the option of selling them at a discount the next day. Many food banks would be happy to take the items and there’s now an app called Too Good To Go, which partners with bakeries and restaurants to help them move any surplus food.
  • Go paperless: Invest in a POS system that can create e-receipts for your customers. Customers can either put in their phone number or email to have their receipt sent to the phone instead of being printed and inevitably thrown out later.
  • Offer discounts on reusable cups: A great way to also promote your brand and sell merchandise is to have reusable cups. As an incentive to purchase, you could offer customers a discount on their coffee whenever they use their reusable cup instead of a biodegradable one.
  • Save energy where you can: Make it a point to use LED lights in your coffee shop instead of incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. Research coffee-making equipment that has energy-saving features.

It may seem like a lot of work, but 80% of retailers believe their sustainability efforts reward them with higher customer loyalty – and that’s what every business wants.


Scooter’s Coffee is one of the fastest-growing ethical coffee brands in the nation. With over 500 locations across the U.S. and many more in development, we’re committed to bringing our sustainable coffee efforts to more consumers.

As you consider starting a coffee shop for your next venture, you may be wondering, “how much does a coffee shop owner make?” At Scooter’s Coffee, we have a proven business model and a high-quality product, yielding our brand an incredible $1,179,980 average unit volume* in 2021.

With territories available throughout the country, now is a great time to join the booming coffee industry. To get started, fill out this form, and one of our representatives will be in touch.

*This is historical representation of what some of our franchisees have earned as described further in Item 19 of the FDD. This information is based upon the top 43 of 172 Drive-Thru Kiosks that were open during the entire 2021 calendar year and provided complete information. Of these 31 Drive-Thru Kiosks that compile the top quartile: (1) 17 of them (or 40%) had an AUV that met or exceeded $1,179,980, (2) 19 of them (or 44%) had a Net Profit Margin and EBITDA that met or exceeded the average. Your results may differ. There is no assurance that you will sell or earn as much. See Item 19 of the FDD for more information.