Is Dutch Bros Drive Through Only?

is Dutch Bros drive through only

If you've ever passed by Dutch Bros Coffee, you might've noticed the long line of cars eagerly waiting for their caffeine fix. It's quite the sight, isn't it? Dutch Bros has become quite the popular pit stop for many, but does this mean you can only get your drinks by going through the drive-through?

Dutch Bros is not exclusively drive-through. Most drive-through locations will have a walk-up window and outdoor seating area. They also have walk-in stores with indoor sit-down areas. It will depend on the location.

Their drive-through service is what Dutch Bros is known for – it's fast, efficient, and usually comes with some friendly barista small talk. Below we'll go into detail on the following:

Is Dutch Bros Drive Through Only?

Dutch Bros History as a Coffee Cart

Advantages of a Drive-Through

Can You Go Inside Dutch Bros?

Can You Go to Dutch Bros Without a Car

Is Dutch Bros Drive Through Only?

No, Dutch Bros is not only a drive-through. Almost all of their locations are set up to be primarily drive-throughs, but many stores also have walk-up windows, outdoor seating areas, and even indoor seating. However, some people say that the walk-up window can feel dangerous to get to with multiple lanes of cars going through the drive-through. It can be like a game of Frogger. Others criticize the outdoor seating areas because the shops play music really loudly for people in their cars to hear, which makes it almost impossible to sit down with a coffee and have a conversation.

So while there are walk-up options, the drive-through is what Dutch Bros is known for, and it's what they do best.

If you're really curious about a specific location's options, you can always call ahead and ask. Dutch Bros staff (called “Bro-istas”) are known to be friendly and I'm sure would be happy to help.  

Related: Is there a Dutch Bros in your state? Check out our Dutch Bros location guide here. Or, if you're curious about what it's like to work at Dutch Bros check out our article on it here.

Why Dutch Bros is Mostly Drive Through

drive through view from inside a car

CC: Photo by RDNE Stock project via Pexels

It's curious that Dutch Bros has leaned into the drive-through as their primary sales avenue when most other coffee shops sell most of the coffee inside at the counter, and maybe supplement with a drive-through if they're a big chain like Starbucks or Dunkin.

I think the company's choice of drive-through shops comes from a combination of its historical roots and business strategy. Let's dive into both below.

Dutch Bros History as a Coffee Cart

Dutch Bros' journey began in 1992 in Grants Pass, Oregon, with two brothers, Dane and Travis Boersma. They didn't start with a brick-and-mortar store or a drive-through, but rather, a simple, unassuming parking lot coffee cart. This mobile beginning allowed them to serve customers quickly and efficiently without the need for a sit-down space. As the business grew, this model naturally evolved into physical shops with the drive-through format, staying true to the spirit of quick and friendly service on the go.

Business Advantages of a Drive-Through

There are several advantages that come with using the drive-through versus a sit-down location:

  • Adaptability – Having a business model that decreases the need for gathering indoors was really helpful for the company during the pandemic. 
  • Convenience for Customers – People are busy. Whether it's the rush to get to work in the morning or a quick cup of coffee and sweet treat while running errands, drive-throughs meet America's insatiable need for ease. Getting out of your car and walking inside a store? That's way too much work! 
  • Efficiency and Speed – Drive-throughs make it easy to quickly take care of orders. You don't have to wait for a table or stand in line; just roll up, place your order, and leave. 
  • Reduced Overheads – Rent is one of the biggest expenses for food service businesses. Drive-throughs often have lower rent and maintenance costs. This is because little to no seating space allows for a smaller building with only the barista equipment.

Dutch Bros has grown and changed over the years, but its drive-through model is still a nod to its roots and a sign of the brand's dedication to speed, ease, and personal connection with customers.

Related: Check out our guide to Dutch Bros Food Options!

Can You Go Inside Dutch Bros?

Dutch Bros Coffee is famous for its drive-through, but not all of its locations are drive-through only. Some Dutch Bros locations do have counters where people can walk in and place their orders. Almost all have walk-up windows and outdoor seating, although many customers complain of the danger of dodging drive-through cars to get there and the loud music playing outside. If you're interested in a certain Dutch Bros location, you should call ahead or use their store locator and call to find out what services that location offers.

Can You Go to Dutch Bros Without a Car?

picture of outside dutch bros coffee sign

CC: Photo by Nicolas Nieves-Quiroz on Unsplash 

You can go to Dutch Bros without a car. While many Dutch Bros locations are drive-thru only, all locations have a walk up window and outdoor seating area. Some even have indoor seating.

If you're nearby and the weather is nice, you might consider biking. According to Reddit, some locations might have bike racks or places where you can safely leave your bike while placing and picking up your order.

When walking or riding a bike, you should always be careful and aware of your surroundings, especially in places that are meant for cars. Before you go, you might want to call or visit the website of the Dutch Bros location you want to make sure you can place an order without a car.

Related: If you don't want to make the trip and want to make Dutch Bros drinks for cheap at home, check out our Dutch Bros Rebel Recipe and Dutch Bros Caramelizer Recipe

This article was written by Sara. You can learn more about Sara on our About the Team page.

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