The vast majority of Americans follow a regimented routine when they wake up each morning: Rise from the bed and make a beeline for the coffeemaker. For a decent percentage of these coffee-drinkers, the caffeinated beverage isn’t solely reserved for sun-up, but rather an afternoon pick-me-up as well. The popularity of coffee simply can’t be denied. Statistics compiled by myfriendcoffee.com indicate that 60% of U.S. coffee drinkers visit a chain coffee shop once a month, and another 50% prefer the convenience of drive-thru locations.
Here are 7 affordable coffee franchises that made the list in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 for 2022:
Entrepreneur Franchise 500 Rank: 11th
Initial Investment: $438K – $1.8M
Units as of 2021: 12,800 (+1.0% in the last 3 years)
In 1946, Bill Rosenberg founded Industrial Luncheon Services, a company that delivered meals and snacks to workers in the Boston area. The success of Industrial Luncheon Services convinced Rosenberg to start The Open Kettle, a doughnut shop in Quincy, Massachusetts. Two years later, The Open Kettle changed its name to Dunkin’ Donuts. Today, Dunkin’ stores can be found in over 32 countries, and they serve 70 varieties of doughnuts, along with hot and cold coffee drinks, bagels, breakfast sandwiches and other baked goods. Dunkin’s parent company, Dunkin’ Brands, also franchises Baskin-Robbins, and the two concepts are sometimes co-branded.
2. Scooter’s Coffee
Entrepreneur Franchise 500 Rank: 66th
Initial Investment: $512K – $861K
Units as of 2021: 341 (+82.4% in the last 3 years)
Seeing the success of the specialty coffee industry in California, Don and Linda Eckles returned to their Midwestern roots and opened their first drive-thru coffeehouse in 1998 in Bellevue, Nebraska. They began franchising Scooter’s Coffee in 2001. Scooter’s Coffee also offers organic hot and iced teas, single-origin coffee, cold brew and pastries.
3. The Human Bean
Entrepreneur Franchise 500 Rank: 88th
Initial Investment: $380K – $905K
Units as of 2021: 121 (+53.2% in the last 3 years)
The Human Bean opened its first store in Ashland, Oregon, in 1998, and more locations were added throughout southern Oregon over the next five years. Franchising of the drive-thru espresso brand began in 2002. The company’s Farm Friendly Direct program encourages environmentally sustainable growing, harvesting and processing methods, rewarding the farmers the company works with by offering above-market prices and using the extra money to fund improvement projects in their communities.
4. Biggby Coffee
Entrepreneur Franchise 500 Rank: 265th
Initial Investment: $202K-$419K
Units as of 2021: 262 (+13.4% in the last 3 years)
Bob Fish and Mary Roszel opened their first coffee shop under the name Beaner’s in East Lansing, Michigan. In 1999, they teamed with Michael McFall (originally hired as a barista for that first shop) to form Global Orange Development and begin franchising. In 2007, the company’s name was changed to Biggby Coffee and all existing franchises were converted to the new brand. Biggby Coffee is focused on expanding in the Midwest and Southeast.
5. PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans
Entrepreneur Franchise 500 Rank: 280th
Initial Investment: $201K – $584K
Units as of 2021: 122 (+45.2% in the last 3 years)
PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans was founded in 1978 by Phyllis Jordan, a pioneer in the coffee industry who embraced high-quality beans, superior roasting methods and a passion for the art of coffee-making. Today, the franchise coffee shop is recognized for harvesting, roasting and crafting gourmet drinks.
6. Ziggi’s Coffee
Entrepreneur Franchise 500 Rank: 283rd
Initial Investment: $269K – $1.2M
Units as of 2021: 37 (+164.3% in the last 3 years)
What started as a small coffee shop on the corner of Main Street in downtown Longmont, Colorado in 2004, has since grown to multiple drive-thru and coffeehouse locations across the U.S. From the beginning, Ziggi’s mission has been to serve a convenient cup of coffee with service customers can rely on.
7. Ellianos Coffee
Entrepreneur Franchise 500 Rank: 489th
Initial Investment: $340 to $575K
Units as of 2021: 20 (+66.7% in the last 3 years)
The Ellianos story began when entrepreneurs and coffee-lovers, Scott and Pam Stewart, returned to their home in Lake City, Florida from a visit to the Pacific Northwest. While there, the Stewarts took notice of the booming drive-thru specialty coffee shop industry. Having a love for coffee and always looking to seize the right opportunity, the Stewarts began planning for Lake City’s first double-sided drive-thru specialty coffee shop. Driven by a mission to serve in a way that would meet the demands of busy Americans, Ellianos Coffee Company was founded in 2002. Today, the Ellianos franchise is readily available in about 35 states.