Scooter’s Coffee is celebrating 20 years in business and the birthday gift they’re giving their employees and franchisees is a world class headquarters and training facility.
The company is currently in the process of putting the finishing touches on a massive new warehouse and office in Omaha, NE that will be the home for both Scooter’s Coffee and its sister company Harvest Roasting, which roasts beans and distributes them to all Scooter’s Coffee franchisees around the country.
Scooter’s Coffee CEO Todd Graeve said the new headquarters should be open next month.
“Right now, we’ve outgrown our current facility and we’re located in multiple offices around the city,” he said during a recent interview. “By this May, we’ll consolidate our offices into one space. We’ll have a much larger warehouse, roasting facility, and bakery, which will allow us to stay ahead of the curve on a rapidly growing franchise system. And, we’re going to invest substantially in high capacity production equipment, including a much larger coffee roaster to handle growing volume.”
Also a feature of the new facility will be a full-sized and fully functional Scooter’s Coffee store for training and testing purposes.
“It will have the same dimensions as our drive-thru kiosk store on the road, and it will be fully functional with coffee production equipment, headsets, order box and pickup window,” Graeve described. “While training, it will feel like you’re in a drive-thru kiosk out on the road, but yet in a safe environment for optimal training and preparation.”
This will allow the Scooter’s Coffee franchisor to train new franchisees and their managers in a controlled environment before furthering their training at corporate-owned locations around Omaha and then continuing their training at the franchisees’ locations.
All of this training is to ensure that franchisees continue the Scooter’s Coffee tradition of providing excellent customer service quickly and efficiently, which is a big part of what Graeve says sets the franchise apart from other coffee brands in the country.
The new training kiosk will also enable the company to test out new equipment and processes prior to implementing them in live locations.
Many of the Scooter’s Coffee franchises are 450 square-foot drive-thru locations that are placed along busy commuting corridors. Sometimes they have a walkup window if the drive-thru kiosk is located along a walking route or in a vibrant retail center.
Where appropriate, Scooter’s Coffee will build larger 1,500 to 2,000 square-foot sit-down cafes, which will also feature drive-thrus, as the drive-thru is really the core of the brand’s business model.
“Drive-thru is a very fluid and fast way for customers to get coffee in the morning and not leave their car,” Graeve noted.
Founded by Don and Linda Eckles in 1998, the brand quickly began franchising a few years later in and around Omaha to friends and acquaintances. After those initial few franchise stores opened, the brand picked up momentum and has been expanding ever since.
Currently, Scooter’s Coffee has 181 stores and will add another 35 by the end of this year. While the more typical franchisee 20 years ago was a single-unit owner, Graeve said, there has been a shift recently to multi-unit ownership. While the brand still does sell single units to people, franchisees are starting to think bigger and often want to build business portfolios rather than just be single store owners.
“As we go from 181 stores to 1,000 stores, I believe we’ll begin to see much larger franchisees emerge, not only in terms of current owners advancing their holdings in Scooter’s Coffee, but also new franchisees that come in with line of sight set on 10 or more stores,” the CEO observed.
Graeve himself got involved with the company in 2005 as an area representative and franchisee with his business partners. Together, he and his partners had an agreement with Scooter’s Coffee to develop 50 stores in Kansas City and across the state of Kansas.
In 2010, Graeve took a position as the Chief Financial Officer of Boundless Enterprises, Scooter’s Coffee’s parent company, and when Don Eckles moved to Chairman of the company in 2016, Graeve replaced him as CEO.
Scooter’s Coffee’s primary point of focus for expansion is in the Midwest, with a hyper-focus on 8 to 10 states surrounding Nebraska. However, Graeve pointed out, with the right franchisees in select areas of the country, Scooter’s Coffee has interest in expansion.
“We’re a Midwest brand and we intend to deepen our footprint in the Midwest while seeking the right opportunities nationally,” he said.
In its 20th year and with a brand new, world-class headquarters and training facility about to open, Scooter’s Coffee is an ideal opportunity for entrepreneurs in the Midwest and across the country who are interested in single or multi-unit franchising.