American drive-through coffee retailer, Scooter’s Coffee, has over 400 stores in 23 states and continues to expand rapidly, with an ambitious plan that could see it almost match Tim Hortons for number of locations as early as next year.
Don Eckles and his wife, Linda, opened the first Scooter’s store in 1998, in Bellevue, NE after Eckles was inspired by a man who was constructing his drive-through coffee store. According to Eckles, it took about three months for the store to break even. Eckles explained to a reporter.
It was a process; it took a while, and business just kept growing, and we kept trying to get better at it as we went. We kept trying to hire people who were better at things than we were.Don Eckles, Scooter’s
Now, the company has expanded to about 20 employees in marketing, 15 to 20 employees in Human Resources, and 100 employees in the operations department.
The successful expansion of Scooter’s Coffee didn’t happen overnight. Eckles remembered that one of the first obstacles for the company, was getting the word out in the community. When specialty coffee took off in the US, Eckles said that they “just got lucky” as by then, they were already in the coffee business.
He also expects Scooter’s Coffee to expand to more than 600 by next year, which would put them just short of the number of Tim Hortons locations in the U.S. We wonder if the couple plans to keep the company private, or set it up for an IPO as others have done, such as the recent successful listing of Black Rifle Coffee Company.