From navigating supply chain challenges to finding people to staff each new location, adding units has never been trickier for restaurant chains. Yet some chains continue to march onward.
Such is the case with Scooter’s Coffee, a drive-thru chain that’s approaching 600 locations across 28 states. Clearly the caffeine-centric concept likes life in the fast lane as it has targeted a bunch of markets for expansion across the Eastern U.S. in the coming year.
To help fuel that growth Scooter’s tapped Luc Langevin to serve as vice president of development. Prior to joining Scooter’s Coffee, Langevin held a variety of executive and senior leadership roles with Couche-Tard, a multinational operator of convenience stores, including Circle K.
Scooter’s Coffee has more than 500 locations at present. What are the company’s growth objectives for 2023? What’s in your development pipeline and how many new units do you hope to add?
LL: We have a robust pipeline of projects for 2023 and an amazing team in place to execute against that pipeline. Overall, our goal is to further accelerate expansion into 2023, especially with our key developing franchise partners. We plan to reach 1,000 locations in 2024, but our goal does not stop there.
When it comes to site selection, what are some key attributes Scooter’s Coffee looks for in a location?
LL: The most crucial phase of development is site selection. Once you’re open for business you can’t easily change your location, traffic counts, and/or egress/ingress locations. Often times, we find that not settling for less always pays off, meaning: not settling for a B or C site. At a high level, our site selection criteria can be summarized by VAST — visibility, access, signage and traffic. Those are largely the main ingredients, but our recipe is secret!
In light of all the macroeconomic challenges, such as inflation, longer lead times for some items and more, how has the way operators and their construction teams work together evolved? Are you asking them to do some things differently than before? How has communication evolved?
LL: We believe that there’s no such thing as over-communication. We strive to communicate as often and effectively as possible with our developing franchisees. We take pride in the level of support and service we provide our franchisees. We always try different things and act on franchisee feedback. The good news is that our business is very resilient, and we believe our customers will cut back on many things before they cut their Scooter’s Coffee. Meanwhile, we will focus on the controllable things, which is delivering on our brand promise every day: “Amazing People, Amazing Drinks…Amazingly Fast!”
What’s one thing that excites you about the restaurant industry in 2023?
LL: The evolution of the restaurant world since the pandemic, and especially how the drive-thru model takes a prominent place in the QSRs model, which gives even more strength to the operational model of Scooter’s Coffee.