Octane Coffee’s first fully automated location on track to open by end of the month

Octane Coffee, W229 N1400 Westwood Drive in Pewaukee.

Last updated on March 15th, 2023 at 12:58 pm

Waukesha-based Octane Coffee’s first fully automated, drive-thru cafe has been a dream five years in the making for founder and chief executive officer Adrian Deasy.

From addressing site permitting issues and rising construction costs to the constant innovation and revamping needed for the company’s technological inventions, the task of getting Octane Coffee up and running has not been a simple one.

But after several setbacks, Octane Coffee’s first fully automated drive-thru cafe, located at W229 N1400 Westwood Drive in Pewaukee, is now on track to open by the end of the month.

The company’s automated systems can serve coffee, tea, smoothies and juice drinks to customers in under 30 seconds. When customers order and pay through the app, Octane’s “robotic server” GPS tracks a customer so that production coincides with their arrival.

The location will need to be restocked once a day. Fully stocked, the unit holds enough product to make 800 cups of coffee. The company partnered with Milwaukee-based Stone Creek Coffee Co. for all of its coffee products.

Octane Coffee founder and CEO Adrian Deasy set out to build the “world’s fastest coffee drive-thru.”
Octane Coffee founder and CEO Adrian Deasy set out to build the “world’s fastest coffee drive-thru.”

“As we’ve dialed it in, it’s definitely a half-hour or less of labor (each day),” said Deasy. “For us, we’re hoping to open a few more locations locally and have one of our employees servicing them daily.”

Deasy said he’s immediately planning on opening two more local Octane Coffee locations but he hasn’t locked down exact sites yet. Both new locations will likely open in 2024, although there is a possibility one could open at the tail end of 2023. In the long-run, Octane Coffee will aim to sell its unique technology directly to big competitors like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts as labor challenges continue to plague the business world.

There is one advantage to the several challenges Octane Coffee has faced, Deasy said. The company now has a working roadmap of sorts on how to get these drive-thrus up and running, an advantage any sort of competitor would lack if they tried to enter the market.

“We feel much more prepared. You don’t know what you don’t know. This was a first in the world type of build,” said Deasy. “There aren’t checklists for that. We’re moving forward with the best plan that we’ve got and there always seems to be other hurdles.”

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Ashley covers startups, technology and manufacturing for BizTimes. She was previously the managing editor of the News Graphic and Washington County Daily News. In past reporting roles, covering education at The Waukesha Freeman, she received several WNA awards. She is a UWM graduate. In her free time, Ashley enjoys watching independent films, tackling a new recipe in the kitchen and reading a good book.

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