The coffee wars are getting ready to heat up in Manteca.
Dutch Bros is in the process of hiring staff for their newest location at 1105 West Yosemite Avenue next to Cabral Motors.
If you think opening up in the middle of a pandemic with San Joaquin County in the most severe lockdown tier will crimp the coffee chain’s debut, guess again.
Dutch Bros business model is tailor made for pandemic business restrictions.
The Manteca has two drive-thru lanes separated by a median that will each hold up to 25 vehicles at one time. Runners — armed with tablet order devices — walk up to vehicles in the queue and take orders as well as payment. That allows for shorter waits for coffee and the other items on their menu that range from lemonades, chai and energy drinks to Dutch Frost — their version of a milkshake.
Dutch Bros hasn’t announced an opening date yet but they did conduct interviews for jobs this past Saturday. And while you might be thinking the last thing Yosemite Avenue needs is a repeat of the Chick-fil-A traffic disaster that on some days — but primarily Saturdays — backs up and blocks traffic on westbound Yosemite Avenue as far east as the Black Bear Diner, Dutch Bros isn’t likely to be a repeat of Chick-fil-A based on design and the speed that orders are handled.
Unlike Chick-fil-A that still has its dining room as well as outside dining closed, the Dutch Bros model is based on drive-thru although there are only several outside tables for walk ups or those that prefer to bicycle to get their caffeine jolt. Even if traffic spills out of their lot — which would mean they’d have in excess of 45 vehicles in line — it is in a less troublesome location on Yosemite Avenue.
And unlike Starbucks that operates with one drive-up lane, Dutch Brothers thrives on catering to customers that don’t leave their vehicles.
The Starbucks locations in town that have drive-up lanes are problematic compared to the Dutch Bros site of just over eight-tenths of an acre that is designed to handle large volume of traffic. Besides being free-standing with no other business sharing the parking lot, the entrance to the drive up lanes is planned for the back of the site. That means vehicles in line won’t block in other vehicles or back up into the street unless there are more 45 vehicles lined up for coffee.
The opening of Dutch Bros will bring the number of shop locations in Manteca primarily selling coffee to 11. That includes three free-standing Starbucks and three Starbucks inside stores (Raley’s Target and Safeway), as well as four independents.
Dutch Bros also is getting ready to take on Starbucks in both Ripon and Lathrop. Dutch Bros, a firm with more than 380 locations versus Starbucks with 14,711 locations in the United States, has obtained approval to open stores in both cities. Starbucks has three locations in Lathrop and two in Ripon.
There are also four Dutch Bros locations in Stockton, one in Oakdale and another in Modesto
The firm eschews freeway orientated sites in favor of locations designed to the communities they are located. Dutch Bros is a privately owned concern based in Grant Pass Oregon. It was started by brothers Dave and Travis Boersma who were third generation dairy farmers when they started selling coffee from a pushcart in their hometown in 1992. They are now the largest privately owned coffee chain in the United States with more than 380 locations and more than 12,000 employees.
Their menu can be found at dutchbros.com