10 Profitable Drive Thru Business Ideas in 2023!

In our rapidly moving society, ease and efficiency reign supreme. More and more people are leaning towards services that save time and offer instant gratification. That’s why drive thru business ideas are skyrocketing in popularity!

Whether you are grabbing a quick bite, getting your morning caffeine fix, or even picking up essentials, drive-thrus cater to the modern lifestyle efficiently.

In this article, we will delve into 10 brilliant drive thru business ideas for profitable businesses that you might consider starting. So, get ready, and let’s plunge into the details!

Table of Contents

Fast Food Restaurants

In the bustling landscape of 2023, where time is often a luxury, fast food has emerged as the savior for many seeking a quick meal. Here are the reasons why a fast food drive-thru is not just a trend, but a sustainable business idea:

Fast Food Restaurants
  • Popularity Among the Masses: Fast food is a staple for people on the move. Whether it’s a working professional looking for a quick lunch or a family wanting a hassle-free dinner. These restaurants offer unparalleled convenience.
  • Constant Demand: Year after year, the demand for fast food remains robust. This evergreen appeal makes it a prime candidate for a successful business.
  • Diverse Offerings: Beyond the traditional burger and fries, modern fast food establishments offer a range of items. Think of coffee shops for caffeine aficionados or even a drive-thru dairy store for fresh milk and yogurt.
  • Strategic Location Benefits: Set up in a good location, preferably high-traffic zones, and your drive-thru restaurant can become a goldmine. The ease of driving through without leaving their cars is a luxury many are willing to pay for.
  • Adaptable Business Models: Whether you’re looking to start a drive-through pawn shop or considering integrating a drive-thru lane in a convenience store business, the fast food model offers insights into managing peak times and ensuring speedy service.
  • Future-Ready: As business ideas in 2023 continue to evolve, the drive-thru concept stands resilient. As drive-thru ordering mechanisms evolve and efforts to elevate the drive-thru user experience intensify, fast-food outlets are primed to stay dominant in this evolution.

As an entrepreneur envisioning the future, initiating a fast food establishment could pave your path to a prosperous venture. With the right strategy, location, and offerings, it’s a venture that promises both growth and steady revenue.

Coffee Shops: The Perfect Blend of Convenience and Passion

The allure of coffee goes beyond just a beverage, it’s an experience, a ritual. More than a mere beverage, it symbolizes a daily ritual, a momentary escape, or even a business meeting condensed into a cup. The introduction of the drive-thru model to this space is nothing short of transformative.

Coffee Shops

Drive-Thru Coffee Shops: A Modern-Day Imperative:

  • Perspective: Forecasting trends indicate a robust growth trajectory for drive-thru coffee outlets. As we approach this pivotal year, entrepreneurs have a golden opportunity to tap into this burgeoning market segment.
  • Convenience Reimagined: The quintessential is no longer a luxury but an expectation. It offers consumers the luxury of time, allowing them to obtain their caffeine fix without the intricacies of parking or indoor queues.
  • A Business Brewed to Perfection: For the discerning entrepreneur with an eye for opportunity, the drive-thru coffee space offers a harmonious blend of passion and profitability.

Strategic Considerations for Aspiring Entrepreneurs:

  • Prime Location: Securing a strategic spot, especially in high-traffic zones, can significantly drive sales and brand visibility.
  • Innovative Offerings: Beyond the traditional coffee menu, think collaborations with dairy stores for premium milk options or even introducing seasonal specials to entice a wider audience.
  • Tech-Driven Efficiency: Modern drive-thru ordering systems, equipped with AI and analytics, can elevate the customer experience, ensuring personalized service and swift transactions.

The Road Ahead:

The fusion of convenience and coffee is not a fleeting trend but a testament to evolving consumer preferences. For those looking to start or expand their entrepreneurial journey. The coffee domain promises not just immediate returns but sustainable growth.

Ice Cream Shops: A Cool Drive-Thru Business Idea

The business landscape is constantly evolving, with consumer preferences and market dynamics shifting in tandem. As we approach 2023, one trend that remains clear is the burgeoning demand for convenient, quick-service models, especially in the F&B sector. Within this domain, drive-thru ice cream shops are emerging as a highly viable and potentially lucrative investment. Here’s an in-depth analysis:

Ice Cream Shops

Market Dynamics:

The global love for ice cream is undeniable. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry with a CAGR that indicates steady growth. Ice cream is a timeless treat, cherished by people across age groups. Whether you are a toddler or a senior, the allure of a creamy cone or a frosty sundae remains unparalleled. While the traditional ice cream parlor holds its charm, there’s a visible gap in the market for quick-service ice cream outlets catering to the time-conscious consumer.

The Drive-Thru Advantage:

Imagine the convenience of grabbing your favorite frozen delight without leaving the comfort of your car. With a drive-thru window, customers can:

  • Beat the heat on scorching summer days.
  • Avoid long queues typical of popular ice cream joints.
  • Experience swift service, making spontaneous ice cream runs even more appealing.

Profitable Venture:

 As we approach the current year, the concept continues to gain traction. Integrating this model into an ice cream business can yield:

  • Enhanced customer experience.
  • Increased footfall (or rather, car fall) during peak hours.
  • A unique selling proposition, especially in areas where drive-thru ice cream shops are still a novelty.

Diverse Offerings:

Beyond the classic flavors, entrepreneurs can explore:

  • Dairy store alternatives like yogurt to ice cream transitions.
  • Seasonal specials to keep the menu fresh and exciting.
  • Collaborations with local bakers for unique offerings like drive-thru cake business-inspired ice cream cakes or pastries.

Operational Advantages:

The drive-thru model offers distinct operational benefits:

  • Reduced Overheads: Eliminating the need for expansive seating areas, the costs associated with ambiance, and in-premises staffing can lead to significant savings.
  • Streamlined Operations: With the primary focus on order fulfillment, inventory management becomes more predictable, and wastage can be minimized.

Innovative Product Diversification:

Beyond the traditional offerings, there’s room for product innovation to cater to diverse demographics:

  • Health-Conscious Options: Introducing dairy-free or low-sugar alternatives can cater to an expanding health-conscious consumer base.
  • Collaborative Ventures: Partnerships with local businesses can lead to unique offerings, like ice cream sandwiches using pastries from a local bakery, creating a niche market segment.

Site Selection Strategy:

A strategic location is paramount. Factors to consider include:

  • Traffic Flow Analysis: Ensuring the site witnesses consistent vehicular traffic.
  • Demographic Study: Understanding the local demographic’s purchasing power and preferences.
  • Competition Mapping: Analyzing the density of similar businesses to avoid market saturation.

Financial Projections & ROI:

An ice cream shop’s gross margins are generally favorable. When combined with the operational efficiencies of a drive-thru, the potential ROI becomes even more attractive. Key considerations include:

  • Break-Even Analysis: Determining the time frame to recoup the initial investment.
  • Growth Projections: Based on market trends and the brand’s expansion strategy.

The amalgamation of the timeless appeal of ice cream and the modern business model presents a robust business proposition. For investors and entrepreneurs eyeing a sustainable and growth-oriented venture to start, ice cream shops should be on the radar.

Pizza Shops: The Drive-Thru Revolution

Pizza, universally adored and cherished, isn’t just a favorite meal. It’s a global phenomenon. In the rapidly shifting business environment. The pizza shop emerges as a promising and good drive thru business ideas.

Pizza Shops

Why Consider a Drive-Thru Pizza Business?

Diverse Menu Options:

  • While the classic Margherita or Pepperoni will always have takers, modern pizza parlors are reinventing the wheel.
  • From gourmet toppings to gluten-free bases, the possibilities are endless.
  • Complementing the pizza menu with salads, wings, and perhaps a dairy treat can cater to a broader audience.

Efficiency Matters:

  • Amid the rapid pace of modern living, the ease offered by a drive-thru window stands unmatched.
  • Whether it’s a family craving a quick dinner or an individual looking for a bite on the move, drive-thrus answer the call.

Emerging Trends:

  • With emerging trends like weddings and art galleries, why should pizza be left behind?
  • It’s an opportunity to blend the love for pizza with the modern experience.

A Unique Customer Experience:

  • Imagine integrating tech, where customers could select their toppings via an interactive drive-thru ordering system. 
  • Where a motion sensor draws back the curtains, allowing them a sneak peek into the pizza-making process.

Strategic Location:

  • A good location, especially in areas with high footfall or near entertainment hubs, can significantly boost sales.
  • Plus, the allure of grabbing a slice without leaving their cars is bound to attract many.

Things to Consider Before Starting:

  • Market Assessment: Before initiating this venture, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with the competitive landscape, prospective clientele, and prevailing market dynamics.
  • Menu Innovation: Think creative! From yogurt to ice cream pizzas for dessert or introducing globally-inspired flavors, the sky’s the limit.
  • Operational Aspects: You’ll need to decide on the size of the establishment, whether it purely has a dine-in option and other logistical details.
  • Customer Feedback: Always keep an ear to the ground. Whether it’s about the convenience of service or feedback on the menu, customer insights are invaluable.

Laundromats: The Revolution in Clothing Care

In the bustling tapestry of today’s business landscape, the business concept has emerged as a beacon of innovation and convenience. As we look ahead, it’s evident that even traditional business models, like laundromats, are ripe for transformation.


Why Consider a Laundromat?

  • Suitable for the Urban Dweller: In high-traffic areas, the convenience of a start becomes unparalleled. Imagine not leaving the comfort of your car to drop off or pick up laundry—truly a modern marvel.
  • Tapping into Busy Schedules: People’s lives are increasingly hectic. While the demand for clean clothes remains consistent, finding the time for it can be challenging. A laundromat can cater to this gap, offering quick and efficient services.
  • An Emerging Trend: An Emerging Trend: While coffee shops and fast-food joints have dominated the drive-thru scene, there’s an untapped potential in more unconventional business models. A laundromat stands as a testament to this innovative approach.

Key Considerations:

  • Location is Paramount: To start this business, one needs a good location. Preferably in high-traffic areas where the demand for such services would be high.
  • Technology Integration: Incorporating ordering systems can enhance the customer experience, making the process smoother and more efficient.
  • Establishing the Enterprise: If you are aiming to launch a truly unique venture, this is your opportunity. But remember, as with all businesses, you’ll need to decide on the specifics: size, services offered, pricing, and more.
  • The Drive-Thru Experience: Ensuring customers have the best starting experience is essential. From clear signage to efficient service, every detail counts.

The concept isn’t limited to food and banking anymore. It’s evolving, and the laundromat business is just one of many sectors ripe for disruption. For the entrepreneur with an eye for innovation and a pulse on modern consumer needs, this is a lucrative business plan worth exploring.

Car Washes – Keeping Vehicles Sparkling 

As we strategize for 2023’s entrepreneurial climate, it’s paramount to dissect trends that intersect consumer behavior with scalable business models. Car washes, often overlooked, present a compelling nexus of opportunity and demand. Here’s a deep dive:

Car Washes

Consumer Behavioral Dynamics:

  • Consistency Over Novelty: Unlike the periodic allure of a drive-thru wedding chapel or the niche demand for an art gallery, car washes cater to a persistent need. Cleanliness and vehicle maintenance are not seasonal or trend-driven, ensuring a steadier revenue stream.
  • Convenience as a Standard: The experience, epitomized by sectors like the drive-thru coffee shop, underscores a modern consumer’s desire: services without the hassle of disembarking.

Operational Insights:

  • Tech Integration: Embracing advanced ordering systems not only streamlines the customer’s journey but also optimizes operational cadence, balancing demand and service speed.
  • Differentiation in a Saturated Market: Beyond just the wash, offering value-adds – think premium waxing or interior detailing – can set a business apart. It’s not simply about launching a drive-thru, it’s about transforming its fundamental appeal.

Strategic Geolocation:

  • Traffic Analysis: Just as a liquor store or pharmacy would prioritize accessibility. Its profitability is intrinsically tied to its location. High vehicular traffic zones, proximity to commercial hubs, and areas underserved by competitors are goldmines.
  • The Drive-Thru Lane’s Double-Edged Sword: While it offers convenience, ensuring efficient lane management to prevent bottlenecks is crucial. A good location marred by poor flow can deter repeat business.

Growth and Diversification:

  • Synergistic Ventures: Once this model is robust, adjacent opportunities beckon. Whether it’s opening a drive-thru convenience store business within the premise or exploring partnerships with drive-thru banking outlets for bundled offers, the horizon is expansive.

For those looking to start a business, offers a blend of traditional service with the modern convenience of a drive-thru. It’s a good idea for entrepreneurs with an eye on trends that cater to the comfort and preferences of today’s consumers.

Convenience Stores – Drive Thru Essentials Under One Roof

Convenience stores already lend themselves well to the drive-thru model, making them a great business option. Customers can purchase a wide variety of products without leaving their cars:

Convenience Stores
  • Food and drinks
  • Tobacco products
  • Snacks and candy
  • Lottery tickets
  • Alcoholic beverages (where permitted)
  • Automotive supplies
  • OTC medications
  • Ice and other basics

Benefits of a start Convenience Store:

  • Allows quick purchases of everyday items on the go
  • Provides easy access from main roads and highways
  • Can be combined with a gas station for one-stop fueling and shopping
  • Offers expanded shopping options versus standalone gas stations
  • Captures impulse purchases from drivers

Keys to Convenience store success:

  • Obtain proper licensing and compliance for age-restricted products
  • Implement an inventory management system to optimize the selection
  • Install safety measures like cameras and drop safes
  • Integrate ordering screen displays for easy browsing
  • Train staff on quick checkout procedures
  • Utilize promotions and loyalty programs to boost repeat business

Future of the Convenience Store:

  • As we dive deeper into 2023 and beyond, these stores could further integrate technology, optimizing ordering systems and enhancing the overall customer experience.
  • Business visionaries should constantly seek innovative concepts to expand their portfolio and address evolving customer demands

With the right mix of convenience and efficiency, a store can be an essential and profitable neighborhood asset.

Gas Stations: The Next Big Drive-Thru Idea

As we move into 2023, drive thru business ideas are not just for food anymore. Gas stations are now joining the trend, making refueling quicker and more convenient than ever.

Gas Stations

Benefits of starting a gas station:

  • Allows for quick fuel purchasing while in transit
  • Saves time versus pumping gas and then going inside to pay
  • Provides easy highway access from main roads
  • Enables customers to avoid exposure to elements like rain or heat
  • Streamlines process for those with mobility challenges

Considerations for opening a gas station:

  • Apply for proper permits and comply with environmental regulations
  • Choose a high-traffic location near major roads and highways
  • Install adequate fueling pumps and islands to avoid congestion
  • Set up user-friendly automated payment terminals
  • Enable pay-at-the-pump credit, debit, and mobile payments
  • Maintain safety protocols like CCTV monitoring and lighting

Additional offerings:

  • Partner with convenience store for one-stop fuel and supplies
  • Provide automotive essentials like oil, wiper fluid, batteries
  • Add car wash and detailing services to boost profits

To sum it up, if you are thinking about new drive thru business ideas, a gas station might be the way to go. It’s a mix of the trusted old with the exciting new, making life easier for everyone on the move.

Pet Supply Stores – Serving Pets Without the Pitstops

The business landscape is constantly evolving. As we steer into 2023, drive thru business ideas are no longer just for fast food. An emerging and profitable drive thru business ideas is the pet store. Tailored for bustling areas with a significant pet-loving community, this concept marries convenience with necessity.

Pet Supply Stores

Products to offer in a pet store:

  • Pet food (dry, canned, raw, prescription)
  • Treats and snacks
  • Toys and chews
  • Collars, leashes, apparel
  • Pet beds and furniture
  • Grooming supplies
  • Litter and waste bags
  • Medications, vitamins, supplements

Benefits of a  pet store:

  • Quickly purchase essential pet care items while out running errands
  • Easy curbside pickup for bulkier items like pet food bags
  • Avoid wrangling pets in store for necessities
  • Accessible for disabled customers or those with unruly pets
  • Provide specialty allergen-friendly foods and products

Considerations for opening a pet store:

  • Obtain proper permits and licensing
  • Carry brands and products suited for local pet populations
  • Institute inventory management system to track product volumes
  • Offer delivery service for bulk or specialty item orders
  • Utilize promotions like loyalty clubs and first-time customer discounts

Pet stores present an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to start unique and profitable drive thru business ideas in 2023. As the trend grows and diversifies, it’s a profitable drive-through business idea for forward-thinkers to capitalize on this blend of innovation and demand.

Drive Thru Pharmacies – Hassle-Free Prescription Pickup

In the dynamic business landscape of 2023, the drive-thru model is emerging as a revolutionary concept, and pharmacies stand out as a sector ripe for this transformation. Drive-thru pharmacies make getting prescription medications filled super quick and easy. Customers can drive up, grab their scripts, and be on their way without leaving their cars.

Drive Thru Pharmacies

Benefits of a drive-thru pharmacy:

  • Allows fast prescription pickup without leaving your vehicle
  • Saves time versus parking, entering a store, waiting in line
  • Provides easy access right off main roads and strip malls
  • Serves mobility-challenged customers without accessible stores
  • Enable customers to avoid exposure to sick patients indoors

Considerations for opening a drive-thru pharmacy:

  • Obtain proper pharmacy licensing and credentials
  • Hire licensed pharmacists and pharmacy techs
  • Integrate with insurance provider networks for coverage
  • Install drive-thru window and workflow software
  • Partner with adjacent medical offices and facilities
  • Market to existing patients and medical centers

Pharmacies meet a big demand for fast, convenient prescription access. This makes the business model promising as reliance on medications rises.


10 Drive-Thru Business Ideas

As we venture deeper into 2023, the allure of business plans has never been stronger, blending convenience with innovative service offerings. From the classic appeal of a drive-thru fast food to the unconventional charm of an art gallery or funeral service, there’s an abundance of opportunities for the discerning entrepreneur. As consumer demands evolve, ensuring a seamless experience and tapping into a unique business plan could be the key to a successful and profitable venture.