Drive Thru Window: Beneficial or Too Much Hassle?

Coffee shops are quite popular amongst consumers because they offer high quality caffeinated beverages, a multitude of flavors, and the convenience of ordering something quickly and efficiently. You can add to this convenience and even gain more customers by installing a drive thru window ordering option at your coffee shop. Drive thru restaurants are popular because they are convenient, quick, and easy for hurried customers. However, there are positive and negative attributes to consider when evaluating whether or not a drive thru window is right for your coffee shop.

Drive Thru Windows Require Additional Staff

First, a drive thru window will likely require additional staff in order to be effective. Think of a drive thru window as another ordering counter in your coffee shop. If you were to add another counter to your coffee shop, you'd obviously need other workers to man the new counter. Because inside customers are completely separate from drive thru customers, you'll need to have a staff of employees that are specifically managing the drive thru orders.

Indoor Customers Dislike the Distraction

If you don't have the capital to hire additional employees, you may run into a problem with your indoor customers. Customers who come inside to order at your coffee shop may become frustrated with the distraction caused by the drive thru window. Because your staff must take inside orders at the same time as outdoor orders on a headset, their focus will be divided, and this can cause problems with customers on both sides.

Drive Thru Windows May Boost Profits

The major consideration for installing a drive thru window at your coffee shop usually comes down to the potential for increased profits when you offer this type of convenience to your customers. A customer may be hesitant to take the time to go to a coffee shop, park, walk inside to order a coffee beverage, and walk back out to his or her car. This takes a great deal of time out of a busy schedule, and customers often think of coffee when they are on their way to work in the morning. So, by offering a drive thru window for your customers, you may be able to convince them that they can save time and still get their caffeine fix by visiting your coffee shop. This will increase the profits generated by your coffee shop simply because you'll be serving more customers than you would have without the drive thru option. Also, many consumers will appreciate being able to stay in their warm and comfortable cars during the winter months. Because customers choose hot coffee beverages during the winter in order to drive away the chill, the convenience of avoiding the elements to get into your coffee shop will be a definite plus.

Overall, the decision regarding a drive thru window must be made on an individual basis. Some coffee shop owners will relish the increased opportunities while others will hesitate because of the clear added hassle of this customer ordering option. Evaluate the pros and cons, and make the decision that is best for your establishment.