I have had a few cafe's in the past and recently purchased a drive thru so this is my first time with a coffee drive thru. The questions I have are:

1. Knowing that drive thru's are about speedy delivery do alot of drive thru's offer baked goods and even bfast sandwiches and things of that nature?

I couldn't imagine the guy behind someone waiting for his coffee that is ordering a bfast burrito and a latte or something like that.

Is this something that drive thru's do? Or do they do it but only pre-made items? What if someone orders a bagel and wants it toasted.

2. This drive thru doesn't have a intercom system so you don't order till you get to the window, is this a big issue? I know alot of drive thru's around here that are like this and I always see cars in line but seems like it would take a bit longer?

thanks for any insight


Views: 521

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hey Brian,  Not a coffee shop owner but I have worked with a ton of drive thrus through our customer base.  

Food - the bulk of our drive thru customers carry the usual grab & go pastries (muffins, bagels etc).  A good percentage have breakfast items that can be heated.  Most do not do anything with made to order food however.  With the oven technology out there, you can heat and toast pretty quickly. 

I think a lot of this is figuring out what the customer expectation is and then making sure you can meet it.  

Intercoms - I've seen both.  

Order and pay at the window:

  • More customer customer interaction.
  • It is easier to train people to deal with one customer at a time.  
  • Possible up sell opportunity - Barista can hit them up in person. 
  • Less of a corporate/McDonalds/Starbucks feel. 
  • Less equipment cost (speaker, headset, POS integration)
  • Speed of service can be slower as you only deal with one order at a time. 


  • Faster service possible.  You can be handing drinks to the first car and be taking the third cars order at the same time.
  • Possible up sell opportunity as well.  The person in the car has a couple minutes to think about adding something to the order.
  • A speaker requires either a second person taking the order, or that the employee can take orders from one customer while accepting cash from the second.  
  • Less customer interaction usually.  The car hits the window, gets the drink and leaves. 
  • Depending on how you are using the speaker - you may have some communication issues between the person taking the order and the one making it / ringing it up.  
  • Cost can be an issue (speaker, headset, POS integration).  

By the way, I've got a customer who routinely does 100-150 tickets an our out of a double sided drive thru with no speakers.  

Good luck!



Thanks for the info, I have been visiting a lot of drive thru's lately and have seen a lot without intercoms and speakers, busy ones also. 100-150 tickets an hour! wow.

Reply to Discussion


Barista Exchange Partners

Barista Exchange Friends

Keep Barista Exchange Free

Are you enjoying Barista Exchange? Is it helping you promote your business and helping you network in this great industry? Donate today to keep it free to all members. Supporters can join the "Supporters Group" with a donation. Thanks!

Clicky Web Analytics

© 2022   Created by Matt Milletto.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service