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Old 07-29-2008, 03:37 PM
 
3 posts, read 25,429 times
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Default Drive thru espresso business start up costs?

Hi, I am relocating to my home state of Texas with my three kids. I am looking into starting up a drive thru espresso stand which are booming in the Northwest where I moved from. Just wondering in terms of a business plan if anyone has any suggestions on initial start up costs and resources for equipment, etc. Are they any training courses in the Dallas area for such a business? Thanks.

Tammy
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Old 07-29-2008, 03:57 PM
 
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No advice...except you should build it by me!!! hehe..ok, manbe not, but yum!!!

and good luck.
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Dallas
427 posts, read 928,978 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamm2001 View Post
Hi, I am relocating to my home state of Texas with my three kids. I am looking into starting up a drive thru espresso stand which are booming in the Northwest where I moved from. Just wondering in terms of a business plan if anyone has any suggestions on initial start up costs and resources for equipment, etc. Are they any training courses in the Dallas area for such a business? Thanks.

Tammy
Try walking into a franchise coffee shop like a dunns bros. or a saxby's to pick the brain of the owner.
Their is a saxby's off of virginia parkway near 75 in Mckinney and I know the owners. They are very friendly and would love to help a future expresso/coffee shop owner learn from their mistakes.

I also knew a couple that owned a "cuppies coffee" franchise that changed their name to "3 grinds" or something like that. Cuppies had a few drive up configurations. I used to frequent their shop until they changed locations. At that time I was interested in becoming a coffee entrepreneur myself. They told me that they wouldn't pay franchise fees again. Usually what you are charged for is marketing, an expresso machine, and technology(security camera, pos system). They said to save your money and pick up a phone book to find a coffee business consultant, go online and find a used coffee machine, this will save you thousands.
The business consultant can help you learn about product placement, marketing etc.
One last tip they gave me was that guerrilla marketing produced the best results.

Individual coffee shop owners will give you the best advice and I think their naturally outgoing people and love to talk so don't be afraid to ask next time you are in a coffee/expresso shop. Usually they are around especially in the early months until they build up some cash.

hope this helps you get started


sorry I forgot to mention I remember them saying that a typical storefront costs about 300k-400k

a drive up configuration was about 150k

Also make sure that the commercial development you are located has a no-compete to block a starbucks or like business from creating competition
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:27 AM
 
93 posts, read 303,938 times
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No idea about costs, but perhaps check on coffeegeek.com as there a lot of espresso / coffee experts there.

I think it would be great to have more independent quality coffee vendors in the area. I'm not a fan of Starbucks (coffee tastes burned).

Good luck on your endeavor!
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:01 PM
 
3 posts, read 15,757 times
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Hi Tammy,

There are free resources available to help you. Here is one in that area:

North Texas Small Business Development Center
Bill J. Priest Campus of El Centro Community College
1402 Corinth Street
Dallas, TX 75215
Phone: (214) 860-5831 or (800) 350-SBDC (7232)
Answered 8:30 am - 5:00 pm Monday through Friday (CST)
Fax: (214) 860-5813
Email: [EMAIL="ntsbdc@dcccd.edu"]ntsbdc@dcccd.edu[/EMAIL]

They should be able to help you with your plans to start a business in that area.

I hope the above helps. Good luck.

Moderator cut: no signatures per site ToS please

Last edited by da jammer; 07-31-2008 at 12:46 PM..
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:07 PM
 
41 posts, read 80,289 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intence View Post
No idea about costs, but perhaps check on coffeegeek.com as there a lot of espresso / coffee experts there.

I think it would be great to have more independent quality coffee vendors in the area. I'm not a fan of Starbucks (coffee tastes burned).

Good luck on your endeavor!
Second the above site.
Coffee is a bit more complicated than you might think, e.g., water temps, brew times, coffee beans and roast
Also, maybe ask the owner of DoubleShot coffee in Tulsa for advice: you might not like it but he knows his business.

Good luck!
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Old 08-01-2008, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Lake Highlands (Dallas)
2,395 posts, read 5,373,070 times
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homebarista.com
CoffeeGeek - News, Reviews, Opinion and Community for Coffee and Espresso

Both good sites with forums and lots of equipment reviews. As far as equipment goes, keep in mind a minimal setup will be a 2-head commercial rated espresso machine and two conical grinders. Ball park $5K (used) for a decent espresso machine and $1K per grinder (one for regular, one for decaf). For commercial use, conical grinders are the only way to go. Fast and last a long time. Then there's the barrage of extra equipment - frothing pitchers, tampers, etc, etc.

I've never run a business, but I have a really nice espresso machine at home. Making a good cup of espresso isn't as simple as buying a machine, a grinder and some beans. The process is critical, as well as training your baristas. Here's some of the stuff that has to be taken into consideration:

- Setting the proper grind on your grinders so the espresso doesn't pull too fast or too slow (too fast and it's bitter, too slow and it tastes burn or over-extracted). You'll need to adjust your grinder daily to adjust for the change in your beans over night.
- Dosage - measuring your grinds consistently. Pack too many in one time compared to another will dramatically change your pour time (again, too fast or too slow affects the taste)
- Tamp - pressure drastically affects how fast a shot pulls. Many shops have bathroom scales so their baristas consistently put 30lbs of pressure. It's critical to push STRAIGHT DOWN as well... so it might be worth getting a lever activated tamper to take a variable out.

Geesh, I could go on... but go read coffeegeek - they have some great articles on the art of brewing a good cup - and an insane series on how to steam milk. Very technical. You wouldn't know it by watching the baristas at Starbucks murder their milk.

Definitely read up on the difference between a heat exchanger system and a double boiler - these are the two competing technologies used in machines for commercial use. Get a machine for home and experiment.

This is my machine: Chris Coffee Service - La Spaziale Vivaldi II Single Group Dual Boiler

It is designed as a plumb-in model, but they have a Vivaldi 2 Mini which has a water reservoir if you don't want to plumb it in (keep in mind all commercial units will be plumbed in with dedicated power run to each unit).

Hopefully that gives you some of the basics and some direction. Good luck, and let me know where you end up so I can check out your place. I've heard the folks that run White Rock coffee are nice and are on this board, so they might be a good resource.

Brian
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Old 08-01-2008, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Lake Highlands (Dallas)
2,395 posts, read 5,373,070 times
Reputation: 982
Holy smokes - I just noticed the new La Spaziale S1 Vivaldi II espresso makers are UL listed and have pre-infusion. This certainly makes a compelling argument to use a pair of these in a low-to-medium volume drive-through coffee shop. With two machines, you'd pretty much be able to pull shots non-stop all day. I've had my machine since Feb '07. Every morning I pull two doubles for my wife and I (one double each). Yesterday, we had a group of folks from out of town at the office... I made 8 different drinks in about 20 minutes (three triple-shot Americano's, two double-shot Latte's, a triple shot Latte, a double-shot Vanilla Latte and a double-shot Hazelnut Latte). Not bad for one guy working a home machine. The Americano's, after pulling the hot water from the steam boiler, took a little while to recover (60-90 seconds) and get the steam boiler back up to temp. Other than Americano's, the machine only takes about 10 seconds to recover and be ready for the next shot (mine is running in dedicated 20-amp mode).

Brian
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:36 AM
 
1 posts, read 3,894 times
Reputation: 10
I too just moved from the Seattle area & want to do the same as you. Your posting is 4 years old & was wondering if you moved forward with opening an espresso stand. I have a family member who owns his own coffee company. It think it's a great idea for this area. I'm in Ft. Worth.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:16 AM
 
137 posts, read 185,389 times
Reputation: 91
The only advice I can give you is to do your research to see whether there is a market out there for drive-thru espresso stands. Just because a business concept works in the North-East doesn't necessarily mean it'll work here.

Hire a research firm to do a study, it might be worth spending a few thousands of dollars on research then spending a couple of hundred G's than finding out your concept won't work here!
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