How Much Does It Cost To Start A Fast Food Drive Thru? (In 2024)

Updated: January 18th, 2023
Start A Fast Food Drive Thru

Looking to start a fast food drive-thru?

But curious about:

  • how much it costs to start a fast food drive-thru?
  • what are the typical fast food drive-thru startup costs?
  • or the actual cost of starting fast food drive-thrus?

Well, we have the data to prove it, supported by real fast food drive-thrus and how much they actually cost to start.

Let's go over it.

Learn more about starting a fast food drive-thru:

Where to start?

-> Pros and cons of a fast food drive-thru

Need inspiration?

Other resources

Equipment & Supply Expenses

Starting a fast food drive-thru may require purchasing some equipment, whether that's for producing the product or packaging the goods, or equipment needed in the back office.

Cost Required? Min Cost Max Cost
Cleaning Supplies ➜

Optional

$63

$200

First-aid Equipment ➜

Optional

$3

$500

Uniforms

Optional

$0

$500

Retail Business Expenses

If you plan to have a brick & mortar location for your fast food drive-thru, you must weigh the costs of your rent, as it may be the most expensive part of running your business.

Rent costs for your fast food drive-thru very much depends on your location. This cost will vary by both region and specific areas of town: a lease in the heart of Manhattan could cost over $80,000/month in rent. Meanwhile, a storefront lease in Florida or Tennessee could cost less than $1,000/month.

Cost Required? Min Cost Max Cost

Shop Decor

Optional

$0

$5,000

Utilities (storefront business)

Optional

$0

$1,000

Building improvements and remodeling

Optional

$0

$950

Storefront Property Rent ➜

Optional

$1,250

$3,500

POS System

Optional

$0

$1,200

Software Expenses

Your fast food drive-thru needs software to run efficiently!

Why spend money on software? Because it can help you save time and automate certain parts of the business, so you can focus on the most important matters. Software and technology can help you grow your business, and save you from expensive personnel costs.

Cost Required? Min Cost Max Cost

Email marketing tool

Recommended

$0

$100

Accounting & Invoicing Software

Recommended

$0

$50

Project Management Software

Recommended

$0

$25

Social Media Management Tools

Optional

$0

$50

Payroll Software

Optional

$0

$200

Inventory Expenses

If you sell a physical good, you'll likely have to start with some inventory.

Cost Required? Min Cost Max Cost

Upfront Costs For Inventory

Optional

$300

$5,000

Inventory Storage

Optional

$0

$5,000

Package Design ➜

Optional

$50

$3,000

Shrinkage

Optional

$0

$1,000

Distribution costs

Optional

$0

$750

Advertising & Marketing Costs

Cost Required? Min Cost Max Cost
Business Cards ➜

Optional

$0

$50

Tradeshow costs

Optional

$0

$5,000

Networking Membership Fees

Optional

$0

$250

Business Signage ➜

Optional

$75

$2,486

Direct Campaigns, Printing and Mailing

Optional

$0

$300

Influencer Marketing

Optional

$0

$750

Press

Optional

$0

$500

Google Ads

Optional

$0

$300

Website Costs

Every business should have a website, and it's worth spending a bit of money to set it up right.

Cost Required? Min Cost Max Cost
Domain Name ➜

Required

$12

$200

Business Email Hosting Service ➜

Recommended

$1

$15