Running a drive-through coffee stand can be quite profitable. People love their coffee, and so many are happy to stop for a cup on their way to and from work. A drive-through setup without a dining area allows you to eliminate a lot of the overhead associated with a typical coffee shop. However, you are faced with one key challenge: keeping traffic moving. In other words, you need to get those customers their coffee quickly so you can keep the lines and wait time down. Here are some ways to accomplish that.
Have separate employees cash customers out and make the coffee.
At minimum, you should have two employees working at your coffee stand. The first should take orders and accept payment. The second should make the coffee. This way, your workers won't constantly have to wash their hands or change gloves between handling money and handling beverages. They can also focus on just one task, which will help them complete that task faster. During your really busy hours, you might even want to have two employees making the coffee and one taking the orders — since prepping coffee takes longer than collecting the money.
Let your baristas organize their own stations.
Rather than organizing the coffee prep area yourself, let your baristas do it. Every barista has a slightly different process, which means they might want items in different areas. If you give them the flexibility to organize their coffee supplies and ingredients as they prefer, then they will be able to work more efficiently.
Have someone direct traffic, if needed.
If your coffee shop is located on a busy street, or if your parking lot setup can make navigating through the drive-through difficult, then you may want to have someone get out and direct traffic during your busiest hours. They can motion to customers so they know when it's safe to pull forward, which line to get in, and so forth.
Keep your menu trimmed down.
Resist the temptation to add too many different drinks to your menu. If you want to offer some unique coffee drinks, try rotating through them and offering a couple of different drinks each week. This way, your staff can keep fewer ingredients on-hand – and they won't have to memorize so many different recipes, so they'll be able to prepare drinks faster.
If you follow the tips above, you can keep traffic moving through your coffee stand faster. And that means more sales for you! For more information about coffee stands or shops, contact a company like Gravity Coffee Company.