Drive-thru coffeehouses are just beginning to percolate. The nation's coffee associations have yet to compile any statistics on this new industry segment, and the Specialty Coffee Association of America lists just 10 drive-thrus on its roster of more than 2,200 members nationwide.
However, the drive-thru trend is picking up speed, and even giants like Starbucks are taking notice: The crown prince of coffee has added drive-thru windows at a select few of its locations. The real growth jolt, however, is expected to come from the independent sector, not the established coffee chains. That means enterprising java junkies who can serve up a quality cup of joe in a jiffy could be on the fast track to coffeepreneurship.