National drive-thru coffee chain 7 Brew will soon make its local debut as part of plans to expand across the state.
7 Brew is slated to open in Brookfield on May 11 at 1010 S. Moorland Road, taking over a portion of the Embassy Suites hotel parking lot. It’s the first of three locations in the works for 7 Brew’s local franchise group, led by Milwaukee native Tommy Pennington.
The fast-growing chain, based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, offers a menu of espresso-based coffee drinks, teas, smoothies and energy drinks, but it’s not your run-of-the-mill coffee shop. The concept operates out of 500-square-foot, prefabricated modular buildings, equipped with two drive-thru lanes and a walk-up window. The Brookfield stand was “dropped” on-site last month.
As the drive-thru model has taken hold of the quick-service category since the COVID-19 pandemic, 7 Brew has hit its stride, now with more than 70 stores across the country, up from just 25 stores at the beginning of this year.
“The pandemic changed up everything, especially in the quick-service restaurant space,” said Pennington. “With our model, the drive-thru-only model does let us have a smaller footprint. … From a business perspective, we’ve seen a lot of different dine-in areas that have been either temporarily closed in restaurants and we feel with the drive-thru model we’re protected from that.”
But even with a business model focused on speed and efficiency, customers should not expect to lose out on other things like customer service and quality.
“I don’t think you’re going to miss any of the experience with our team. Our team will be there coaching you through your order and providing a high level of customer service,” said Pennington.
Kindness is one of 7 Brew’s key tenants, and “you will see that first hand, you’ll feel it,” he added.
With seven original flavors (hence the brand name), 7 Brew claims it offers 20,000 unique drink combinations.
“If you want something hot or iced we can do it, if you want something sweet or sugar free, creamy or straight, we can do that, too,” said Pennington. “Our baristas have everything they need to make the perfect drink combination for any customer who comes through.”
7 Brew Brookfield is working to staff up to 50 total employees, with around 10 working each shift.
Beyond West Bend and Mount Pleasant, Pennington said his group intends to open additional locations across their territory, which spans from the Fox Valley south to Kenosha and west to Oconomowoc.
“Being from Milwaukee, the word I keep thinking of as I try to conceptualize how I feel about moving back home and bringing 7 Brew (to the region), it’s truly special,” he said.