How Drive-Thrus and Ordering Apps Increase Coffee Shop Sales

August 31, 2022 (Published: July 22, 2022)
Sips Coffee Bar Drive-thru

Barista holds coffee cup at drive-thru windowBuilding a new coffee shop? Want to increase sales at your existing coffee shop? Then consider adding a drive-thru or using a digital ordering app.

The most efficient shops use both, said Scott Fullerton, a coffee shop startup expert from Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea.

“Drive-thrus and ordering apps can offer a big competitive advantage,” he said.

“A drive-thru can increase your sales capacity by around 25 percent, while an ordering app can account for 20 percent of sales.”

Drive-thrus Increase Speed & Capacity

Screen shots from Crimson Cup contactless ordering appScott noted that not having a drive-thru can limit capacity. “If your local competition has a drive-thru, then you absolutely need one,” he said.

“For many, picking up an espresso drink is part of their morning routine. Make it as quick and easy as possible,” he added.

“Drive-thrus can deliver faster service. And customers often perceive it as faster, even if it’s not, because they don’t have to get out of their cars.”

The pandemic changed customer behavior, with some customers showing a strong preference for drive-thrus.

“We’re still seeing that certain customers will only use a drive-thru or another limited-contact means of receiving their order,” Scott said.

If a building’s structure does not support a physical drive-thru, he said an ordering app can offer many of the same advantages.

“Several Crimson Cup customers have increased sales by setting up a limited-contact pickup system using an online ordering app,” he said.

Increased Capacity Creates a Need for More Staff

The only caveat to using drive-thrus and ordering apps is that the increased capacity means you need more staff, Fullerton said.

“Make sure you have enough staff to cover your drive-thru and counter,” he concluded. “Few things will drive coffee-shop customers away faster than slow service!”

Questions About Opening a Coffee Shop? Call Scott Fullerton.

Scott FullertonAs 7 Steps Sales Leader, Scott Fullerton is the first contact for potential coffee shop owners interested in Crimson Cup’s help. He has helped over 100 entrepreneurs learn how to open a coffee shop through our 7 Steps to Success coffee shop startup program.

“I speak with potential coffee house owners to make sure that owning a coffee shop is right for them and they are a good fit to work with Crimson Cup,” he said.

“Give me a call at 888-800-9224 if you’d like to chat about your vision for your coffee shop.’

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