Java, cup of joe, rocket fuel ... no matter what you call it, coffee is a staple when it comes to hot beverages. Not only do Americans want fast coffee to be good, but they also want good coffee to be made fast. It's no secret that American are always on the go --- and as a result, everything fast has become popular. Longer work hours and long commutes have popularized fast food and the need for a fast java fix. Drive-through coffee shops have cropped up in big cities and some small towns to meet the need for that morning pick-me-up.


Drive-through coffee shops used to be most commonly seen in large cities and were usually the result of big coffee shops like Starbucks opening them up to expedite service for their customers. However, privately owned coffee shops in smaller towns have jumped on the bandwagon, and now some mom-and-pop places have drive-throughs, as well.


Drive-through coffee shops serve a dual purpose when coupled with a regular coffee shop. They are a fast, convenient way for customers to order coffee without ever having to get out of their vehicle, and it cuts down on the foot traffic inside of a coffee shop. Popular shops can have long lines that stretch out the door, especially during peak morning hours. However, there are coffee shops that are solely drive-throughs. They are usually small, one-room operations with minimal space inside.


Drive-through coffee shops are usually no different than the regular coffee shops they are part of. In some instances, a shop may limit its drive-through menu to make ordering coffee via that method quicker. Frozen and specialty drinks sometimes take longer to make, so they are sometimes not included. Instead, easy-to-make drinks like hot chocolate and the brew of the day are usually standard.


Extremely long coffee shop lines can sometimes be a deterrent to would-be customers, because they either don't have the time or they simply don't want to wait that long to get their java fix. Drive-throughs offer customers a way to avoid the long lines inside the store and are typically faster.


Though the purpose of a drive-through coffee shop is to reduce the number of people waiting in line inside the store, drive-through lines can also sometimes be long. If a shop is short-staffed, this may also cause a problem, because the line may not move along as quickly as it normally would. In addition, if there is something wrong with your drink, you are faced with either having to re-enter the drive-through line or getting out of your vehicle and going into the shop to exchange it.