Are you interested in starting a drive-thru coffee shop? With the average American drinking 3.1 cups of coffee per day, there are opportunities for smart entrepreneurs who want to dive into the market.

In this guide, we’ll provide some tips and tricks to help you start and grow a thriving drive-thru coffee shop.

How Much Does it Cost to Open a Drive-Thru Coffee Shop?

There are a number of factors that determine the total cost of opening a drive-thru coffee shop. Let’s first break down the various factors that determine the cost.


If you opt for a franchise like Ellianos for example, the franchise fee is $25,000. While this might seem like a lot, it buys you name recognition, branding, and support. Our drive-thru coffee shops are successful and that can increase the chances of yours being as well.

Building and Real Estate

Of course, the cost of real estate can vary dramatically based on where you’re located and how much land you’re purchasing but the cost of building the coffee shop can be anywhere between $200,000-300,000.

Site Work

The ground might need to be leveled, graded, and treated to make it look better for your customers and comply with your city’s requirements. This can cost between $50,000-150,000.

Equipment and Supplies

You’ll need to purchase your coffee makers, machines, POS systems, and much more. Not to mention the cost of your initial supply purchase during your first few weeks open. This can add up to as much as $100,000 or more.

Training and Travel Expenses

During the initial process of opening up a drive through coffee shop, there will likely be some training and travel involved while you’re learning the in’s and out’s of your new business.

With all of these costs and more added in, you can expect the total cost of opening a drive thru coffee business to be around $400,000-600,000.

How Profitable is a Drive-Thru Coffee Shop?

According to Zen Business, the average coffee shop drive-thru can bring in $1,500-2,000 per day in sales and this is mainly in part to the ability to serve customers quickly. That’s what gives the two window design of Ellianos Coffee the advantage.

Since you can serve two customers at a time, you’re reducing the amount of time customers are spending in your drive-thru so you can serve them faster and keep them happy.

How Do You Attract Customers to Your Coffee Shop?

We’ll help you design a grand opening which we’ve done a number of times with other locations. Finding ways to get on local news networks is another great way to get attention to your new drive-thru coffee shop.

How Can I Increase My Coffee Shop Sales?

Your drive-thru coffee shop is going to rely on its employees and management during those first few months. You want to make sure you have enough employees scheduled at all times and that you don’t run out of items that customers want.

One great way to increase sales is by providing a personal experience that the customers cannot get at the big chains like Dunkin and Starbucks. Show them that you’re different and that you ultimately care about customer service and quality.

If you’re trying to find a drive-thru coffee shop for sale, you’ve come to the right place. Learn more about Ellianos Coffee franchising opportunities today.

Chad Stewart

About Chad Stewart

Chad Stewart has long enjoyed the value of hard work, starting his first job at age fifteen and currently serving as Ellianos’ Vice President of Franchise Development. In this role, he drives company growth, franchise development, and site selection, and of course, consumes a large number of iced lattes. Chad is striving toward the goal to open 100 Ellianos store locations by the end of 2024. While he is highly determined to put in the hard work to do so, he is equally energetic to have fun throughout every step of the process. Chad genuinely looks forward to work on Mondays but also enjoys spending time with his wife and children traveling, attending baseball games, and frequenting unique local donut shops. Though he admits to being more of a mountaineer than a beachgoer, Chad currently resides in Northern Florida with his family.

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