2001 Drive-through coffee

Muzz Buzz, a drive-through coffee chain, was founded by Craig Muzzeroll, who opened the first outlet in Belmont, Perth. The idea came from the United States where drive-through coffee (although not espresso) was well-established. It was the first drive-through coffee operation in Australia.

Franchising began in 2004 and the chain grew quickly in Western Australia, expanding into the eastern states in 2006 and subsequently to New Zealand. By 2012, Muzz Buzz had 50 stores and operated in every state except New South Wales and Tasmania.

By 2020, the franchised chain’s offering had expanded way beyond coffee. Rivalling operations like Starbucks, the menu included a range of frappes, juices and smoothies, as well as what they cutely named Snackz and Fillerz. They also borrowed the Starbucks terminology for their coffee sizes, calling a small coffee “short”, a regular “tall” and a large “grande”. The giant size, however, is called “RBO” as Starbucks trademarked their name of “venti” for a 24-oz drink. RBO, according to the Urban Dictionary, stands for “real bitches only”!

As well as catering for time-poor commuters and tradies on the road, the drive-through is a boon for parents with young children in the car. The operator of the Glen Waverley Muzz Buzz store claimed he also had a regular customer who came through on her mobility scooter and a tradie who drove through on a forklift.

Melbourne’s first drive-through coffee outlet was Latte Cartelle, opened in Elsternwick in 2004. Other franchises, including Coffee Club and Gloria Jeans  have since embraced the concept, with the first Gloria Jeans drive-through outlet opening in Brisbane in 2013.  In 2014, McDonald’s made its McCafé espresso coffee available at its drive-throughs.

It seems Sydney was slow to follow the drive-through trend, with the price of real estate in the New South Wales capital a limiting factor.  In 2018 there were still just a few drive-throughs in the New South Wales capital.

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