How to Start a Drive-Thru Coffee Kiosk Business. A drive-thru coffee kiosk is a great opportunity for a business owner, as it requires little overhead and provides a service that is in high demand. And, if a location doesn't work for you, it doesn't mean that your venture has ended. Simply pack up shop and try again somewhere else.
Decide whether you will rent or buy property for your drive-thru kiosk. Not having to worry about rental increases, a difficult landlord or possibly being asked to leave, are advantages to owning the property yourself. However, it is usually more practical to rent the property, as the biggest advantage of a kiosk is mobility.
Find a good location for a drive-thru kiosk. Make sure that the kiosk will be highly visible and accessible from major commuter roads, as the majority of your business will come from folks that are heading off to work. Design the kiosk building and signs in a striking and attractive manner so that they will stand out from nearby business and structures. While the design of your kiosk should have "pop," you should keep your signs simple; too much information will be hard to read by someone who is rushing by in their car.
Research local laws about food handler training, special licenses and all other legal details that may affect your business. Begin by inquiring about building codes and zoning procedures in your area, at your local building department. They will be able to give you information about everything you need to get started. Many government agencies will require the review of a formal business plan and location inspections, before issuing business permits, so inquire about regulations in your area well in advance of your planned opening.
Establish relationships with suppliers of the food and coffee you will be selling. Many coffee kiosks make special deals with local bakeries and coffee roasters, which is probably the easiest and most affordable, option. Local suppliers will bring your orders right to your kiosk on scheduled days. If you choose to purchase coffee and food from large suppliers, research your options and prices online, test their product first and inquire with other small business that carry their products about their service, reliability and quality of product.
Select high quality and reliable equipment for your coffee kiosk, as the equipment can effect the overall quality of your product. Talk to other baristas about their equipment, where they buy and what they would suggest for kiosk. There are a number of equipment suppliers available online, that offer fast shipping and service options. Find a good website to compare information and user ratings.
Create a menu board or list of coffee drinks that can be easily read from at least 25 feet away. This will guarantee efficiency, as the board will be easily readable by the second car in line, ensuring that they will be ready to order when they reach the window. Plan simple and basic menu items, as the point of a drive-thru is to decide, order, pay and go in a matter of minutes. Too many options or complicated coffee drinks can frustrate the customer and make your preparation of the item more difficult.
Organize the inside of your kiosk so that you can quickly and efficiently prepare your coffee drinks and other items. The exact layout will vary depending on the variety of products you are offering, however spend a day or two experimenting with layout before making a final decision. Make sure that you and your employees are thoroughly trained in the preparation of your products and the operation of your equipment so that the line will move through the drive-thru as fast as possible.