10+ Best & Profitable Drive Thru Business Ideas [2023]

Get inspired and create a profitable drive-thru business in 2023! Our list of the top 10+ best drive-thru business ideas will help you get started. Explore our creative ideas and find out how to make your drive-thru a success.

By Nick Cotter
Updated Feb 07, 2024

Image of drive thru business ideas
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Greetings, future entrepreneurs! Ever found yourself stuck in a long line at a drive-thru, drumming your fingers on the steering wheel, and thought, "Hey, I could do this, and even better?" Well, you're not alone. The year 2023 is right around the corner, and it's bringing with it a wave of innovative and profitable drive-thru business opportunities that are just waiting for someone like you to seize them.

Whether you're a seasoned business owner looking for a fresh venture or a newbie ready to take your first entrepreneurial leap, this is your sign. It's time to buckle up and get ready for the ride of your life.

In this article, we'll take a journey down the road less traveled, exploring 10+ of the best and most profitable drive-thru business ideas for 2023. We'll not only share these exciting opportunities but also guide you on how to make them successful. So, sit back, grab a cup of coffee (from your future drive-thru, perhaps?), and let's get this show on the road.

Coffee Shop

A coffee shop is a great business idea for those who have a passion for coffee and providing excellent customer service. Whether you’re looking to start a small business or invest in an established one, coffee shops offer opportunities to create strong customer loyalty, high profit margins, and steady streams of income.

  • You can focus on what makes your coffee special
  • Create a familiar atmosphere for customers
  • Easy to create an online presence
  • Ability to host events and community meetings
  • Opportunity to offer products and services that compliment coffee
image of a Coffee Shop

Smoothie Stand

A Smoothie stand is a business that specializes in selling smoothies. This could include selling smoothies made from natural ingredients, or a variety of other types of drinks. Smoothie stands can make a great business idea for a few reasons:

  • Smoothies are an easy way to stay healthy and get nutrients in a convenient way.
  • Setting up a Smoothie stand is relatively low-cost and low-risk.
  • The potential for profit is high due to the demand for quick, healthy snacks.
  • There is potential to expand the business by adding other types of drinks and snacks.
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Examples of successful businesses:

The drive thru business industry has seen tremendous growth in the last few years, with many companies achieving success. Here are a few examples of successful drive thru businesses:

  • McDonald's
  • Burger King
  • Taco Bell
  • Sonic Drive-In
  • Wendy's
  • Dairy Queen
  • KFC
  • In-N-Out Burger
  • Arby's
  • Jack In the Box
  • >


A Bakery is a business that produces and sells a variety of baked goods. It can be a great business idea for those who have an interest in baking and cooking. Here are some of the benefits of starting a Bakery:

  • Opportunity to use creativity when designing and creating unique baked goods for customers
  • Ability to cater to special dietary needs like vegan, gluten-free, etc
  • May be able to reduce costs by using fresh ingredients or partnering with local farmers
  • Ability to specialize in certain types of baked goods like pastries, breads, cakes, etc
  • May be able to earn more money if customers enjoy their products and visit the Bakery often

Ice Cream Shop

A Ice cream shop is a business that specializes in serving ice cream, frozen yogurt, and other similar frozen treats. It can be a great business idea because it has many advantages:

  • It's relatively inexpensive to start a small ice cream shop.
  • High demand for frozen treats in many regions.
  • Variety of flavors, sizes and toppings can entice customers to try different things.
  • Ice cream shops are often seen as a fun place for families, couples and friends to spend an afternoon.

Fast Food Restaurant

A fast food restaurant is a restaurant that serves quick, ready-to-eat, convenient food. It's a great business idea because:

  • The overhead is low compared to other types of foodservice businesses
  • It is convenient for customers
  • Customers can get what they want quickly at an affordable price
  • It can be easily adapted to local cuisine and culture
  • It has a wide appeal across different demographics and age groups
  • Not much staff training or knowledge of the food industry is necessary to operate a fast food restaurant successfully.

Juice Bar

A Juice Bar is a business that specializes in selling freshly made juices, smoothies, and other healthy alternatives. It is a great business idea for any entrepreneur who wants to capitalize on the growing demand for healthy and natural foods. Here are some reasons why it makes for a good business idea:

  • It is tapping into a rapidly growing market of health-conscious consumers.
  • It has low overhead costs in comparison to other businesses.
  • It offers a variety of products and can easily be customized.
  • It can be adapted to different settings such as malls, supermarkets, universities, airports etc.
  • It requires minimal staff, equipment and space.

Donut Shop

A Donut shop is a business dedicated to the sale of donuts, a pastry typically made of sweet dough and fried in oil. Donut shops offer a variety of baked goods such as cakes, pies, and donuts in addition to coffee and other beverages. The following are some of the advantages of starting a donut shop as a business:

  • Low start-up costs – it is relatively inexpensive to establish a donut shop compared to other businesses.
  • Flexible hours – since customers typically visit donut shops in the morning and afternoon, the hours are flexible, allowing for scheduling around other commitments.
  • Strong customer loyalty – customers typically return frequently if they are satisfied with their experience at the donut shop, which is beneficial for long-term revenue.
  • Catering opportunities – many customers like to purchase large orders for special events or parties, which can be quite profitable for the business.

Soup & Sandwich Shop

A Soup & Sandwich shop is a restaurant that specializes in soups and sandwiches. It is a great business idea for many reasons.

  • It offers an affordable, easy meal for customers of all types.
  • The menu can be highly customized to please a variety of tastes.
  • It is simple to operate, with few cooking skills or equipment needed.
  • It can be opened quickly, with minimal overhead costs.

Health Food Market

A Health food market is a retail store that specializes in providing natural, organic, and healthy food. It is an ideal business idea for those looking to provide healthy alternatives to traditional grocery stores.

  • It offers a variety of options to match customer needs
  • It can provide fresh and high-quality products
  • It can focus on niche products that traditional grocery stores don’t offer
  • It provides education to customers on healthy eating habits
  • It has the potential for community outreach and engagement opportunities.

Wine & Beer Shop

A Wine & Beer shop is a retail store that specializes in the sale of alcoholic beverages. These stores typically feature a wide variety of wines, ales, lagers, ciders, and other craft beers alongside bottles and canned drinks from well-known brands. Wine & Beer shops can be a great business idea for any entrepreneur looking to make a profit from selling popular alcoholic beverages. Some of the things that make this idea an attractive business proposition include:

  • A reliable source of high-quality products at competitive prices
  • Access to knowledgeable staff who can offer expert advice on selecting the right products
  • Ability to offer tastings, special offers, and other incentives to attract customers
  • An established customer base with potential for repeat business
  • Increased foot traffic to nearby businesses due to the presence of a Wine & Beer shop


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I'm Nick, co-founder of newfoundr.com, dedicated to helping aspiring entrepreneurs succeed. As a small business owner with over five years of experience, I have garnered valuable knowledge and insights across a diverse range of industries. My passion for entrepreneurship drives me to share my expertise with aspiring entrepreneurs, empowering them to turn their business dreams into reality.

Through meticulous research and firsthand experience, I uncover the essential steps, software, tools, and costs associated with launching and maintaining a successful business. By demystifying the complexities of entrepreneurship, I provide the guidance and support needed for others to embark on their journey with confidence.

From assessing market viability and formulating business plans to selecting the right technology and navigating the financial landscape, I am dedicated to helping fellow entrepreneurs overcome challenges and unlock their full potential. As a steadfast advocate for small business success, my mission is to pave the way for a new generation of innovative and driven entrepreneurs who are ready to make their mark on the world.