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Have you seen my home page ? Please go there before you read this, it will help you to understand this business better.

In many business districts throughout the country you may see lines of people waiting in front of a $$$bucks for as long as fifteen minutes to get their overpriced morning "latte fix". As more and more consumers get familiar with espresso based drinks all across the country, and the demand grows, there is a great opportunity to satisfy that demand with a drive-thru, in a more convenient way, with faster service, a better tasting product and at a more reasonable price.

Note: The picture on this site are of some of my consulting clients

    Java Jo'z San Jacinto, Ca                            Stingers Coffee, Corpus Christi

The best place to locate a drive-thru coffee stand would be in a relatively "espresso educated" market. And the best possible location would be right next to a Starbucks that does not have a drive-thru! But even if your area is "espresso challenged", this can be overcome with the right kind of initial promotion, in the right kind of a location, with great visibility and easy access. Recently I helped to open successful drive-thrus in Fort Wayne, IN, (Java Depot) and in Allentown, PA (Java Joint), Biloxi, MS, Huntsville, AL, and Corpus Christi, TX, where most of the customers were"espresso challenged". 

     Java Joint, Allentown, PA                    www.CustomCartSolutions.com

A drive-up is the ultimate state in the "espresso concept evolution". Unlike a coffee shop or coffee house, where people may go for other reasons than to drink coffee, it does not offer any social setting or entertainment value; people drive up just for your product and because it may be faster and more convenient than standing in line in a $$$bucks. 

There are many places that you can locate your drive thru.  Some of the items you want to incorporate would be:

  •  600-800 car count during morning commute hours

         Locate near other drive thrus fast food operations

         Locate near elementary, high school or colleges,

         Locate near retail centers and hospitals

        Use score card information

A good source for scoring your location, check out www.javajoz.com or one of the large providers of drive thru coffee business.

At the present time, the espresso drive-thru concept is in its infancy. But three to five years from now, there will be thousands of these stands all over the country. They will range from "Ma & Pa" small home-made trailers, where allowed, to full size, double drive-thru "Fast-Food" type structures costing $300,000 or more.                  

Will you be one of them?

            Java Jo'z Biloxi, MS                               Quick Fix Coffee, Canton, OH

There is a tremendous opportunity for serious investors to create coffee drive-thru concepts that combine an attractive design, good locations, proper equipment layout, effective marketing, fast service and a good tasting product!

If you think that you can "wing it" on your own, go here: "Coffee Shop Business for Dummies"

Before you start planning a  coffee drive-thru in your part of the country and see big $$$$ signs, consider this:

         Many communities across the country won't allow any kind of drive-thrus.

         Most communites allow drive-thrus, however some communities may have a moratorium on them, whether it be a McDonalds or a Taco bell.

         Most communities that allow drive-thru require a restroom and full hook-ups: water, sewer, power etc. and will treat you operation like any other kind of fast food drive-thru drive-thru restaurant. This will discount most of the self contained trailers, except pre approved mobile units/carts.

You have a couple of options in opening your coffee drive-thru business.

Contact one of the major companies offering licensing or franchising opportunities.   They have the knowledge and experience to assist you in the bureaucratic maze that is involved in opening your own business.

Or you can go it alone

1. Check with zoning, building and health department in your community. Explain to them what you would like to do. While here in the Northwest drive-thru espresso stands have been in operation for some time, in other parts of the country they have no clue. Do not try to do it over the phone. They won't understand what you are talking about. The best way to do it is by appointment. Take with you some pictures and interior layout plans so you can show them. If you don't have any, my book "Espresso Business Success Program" has.

2. FIND A SPECIFIC LOCATION, TALK TO THE OWNER or PROPERTY MANAGER. Without a location, you have no business. Nothing else matters unless you get a location where to put your stand. Try to secure a long term lease, at least three years with a renewal clause. If you take a short year to year lease and make the business a success, the owner of the property may thank you for developing a customer base for him and take over your business. It happens all the time! Again, you must have something to show the owner of the property.

3. Before signing the lease, call me and let's talk about your location. This call may save you a lot of money, time and aggravations. This phone consultation is included in the price of my book.

Before you call, please do the above homework of finding a specific location and checking with the owner and all the bureaucrats.  

Alex Fisenko & Assoc. 503-590-9423. You may call me until 8 p.m. Pacific time.

In order to make the coffee drive-thru venture a success, the following factors must be considered:

1. Site location - without a good location, you may have the best coffee in the world and fail! A good drive-thru location should be highly visible and easily accessible from a busy highway or street, and it should be positioned on the morning commute side. 

2. Building design and signs - it must be striking and attractive, something that will attract attention and stand out from the nearby structures. Depending on need and size, it could have two serving windows and even some inside seating. One of the questions that the owner of the property will ask you is "What does the stand look like?" If you can show him a very attractive structure, your chances of securing the location will be greatly enhanced. 

3. A large menu board that can easily be read by a second car in line or from at least 20ft.

4. A simple, basic item menu, emphasizing espresso based drinks, with reasonable prices. One thing is to pay premium price for a "latte" in a high class coffee bar, where the customer may tie up a seat for 30 minutes or more, another altogether is to get your drink from a window and be on your way within a minute.

5. Proper equipment lay-out so as to be able to produce drinks fast and efficiently.

6. The owner/barista must be thoroughly trained in all phases of operation, with emphasis on fast and correct drink preparation techniques so as to keep the line moving.

7. Hundreds of other small details that one by one would not affect the business to a great degree, but when added up may make or break your business!

 Book & DVD

Business Plan                 

Coffee Shop Business School. Three Day Class will Teach "What to Do and How to Do it!"

Consulting Program

As compared to a conventional fast-food drive-thru operation, that may cost anywhere from $400,000 to sky is the limit, an espresso drive-thru may range, fully equipped, from around $45,000 for a basic 8' x 16' trailer, to a $150,000 or more for a full blown 14' x 25' double drive-thru structure, with permanent utilities, restroom and long term lease. 

If you are the owner of a strip mall with a large parking lot or a gas station, you have a great opportunity to make some real money with a coffee drive-thru by placing an attractive kiosk for around $85,000. In a good location that investment may be recouped in less than a year.

Depending on the location, appearance of the structure, marketing and the overall understanding of the business, sales may range from $60,000 to $1,000,000 a year. 

 The best opportunity for a coffee-drive thru entrepreneur would be to find a "defunct" or failing conventional fast food operation and convert it into a first rate espresso drive-thru. Such a conversion could probably be accomplished, including all the necessary equipment, for around $50,000. We would be very happy to help you with the necessary expertise to accomplish that task.

Please remember: Do not waste your time and effort  shopping or "researching" for equipment etc. unless you have a specific location and are ready to sign your lease. What you need first is to learn to understand this business so you prevent major mistakes and start on the right track.

You will find most of your answers on how to start and operate this business in my book and video tape:

"Espresso Business Success Program" Book & Video

For a complete, turn-key consultation please go here:


I will be happy to provide you with sources where you can get a self contained, fully equipped, turn key trailer, or a manufactured building with a restroom and full hook-ups for utilities. Please feel free to call me after you do your home work.

 Alex Fisenko 503-5909423     9 am-8 pm Pacific

E-mail: alex@espressobusiness.com 

I you wish to receive a free fact filled E-MAIL "Espresso Report" that includes start-up costs to open a coffee bar, kiosk or cart, a P & L statement, my background, article on "How to Find a Proper Location" and much more that will increase your knowledge of what this business is all about, just click here and send me e-mail with a brief description of what you would like to do. Please include "Espresso Report" on the subject line. I won't email without it!

Alex  Fisenko has been helping companies and individuals to develop successful espresso concepts for the last 25 years. He provided initial "espresso expertise and inspiration" to some of the biggest players in the field. Besides having opened and operated 16 espresso bars for himself, he travels all over the world helping clients to open successful espresso bars, including South Korea, Thailand, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, and many US states. He was also an "Espresso Business Seminar" presenter for the Coffee Fest Organization in Seattle. He will be happy to speak on any espresso related matters during your Industry Convention, or to contribute articles, free of charge, to your coffee related publication. He can be reached in Portland, OR (503)5909423

Here are some links of interest to your particular need:

"How to Make Real Money with Espresso" Main Page



"HOW TO INCREASE ESPRESSO SALES IN YOUR PRESENT LOCATION". Increase your revenues, the value of your business and build a loyal customer base.


This one day "Espresso Business Workshop", presented in the location of your choice, will show you and your franchisees how to increase your espresso sales, revenues, customers satisfaction and the value of your business.